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The year 2012 has been one of contrasts on the UKCS. Field investment could end up at a record level of £11.5 billion (US$18.4 billion), compared to £8.5 billion (US$13.6 billion) in 2011. The increase is due principally to the coincident development of a group of large, expensive projects, such as Clair Ridge, Laggan and Tormore fields, and the redevelopment of Schiehallion field. These fields are located West of Shetlands and contain substantial reserves. It should be noted that the current record level investment also reflects decisions made before the various tax reliefs announced in Budget 2012 and more recently. Field operating expenditures are also at record levels and could be around £7.5 billion (US$12.0 billion) for 2012. The result is that, currently, the supply chain is fully stretched, with widespread shortages of skills and consequential cost inflation.
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