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High oil prices, but how much North Sea action? Even if the oil price rise in the North Sea has been somewhat mitigated by the appreciation of the euro and other relevant currencies (Britain's pound and Norway's krone), industry's response to prices seems surprisingly modest. By historical standards, oil prices above $30/bbl should have triggered a surge in exploratory wells, plus extra development projects that might have been marginal at lower prices. Little of this has materialized, particularly in Norway.
According to World Oil , the number of active mobile rigs in Europe and the Mediterranean has declined over the past year. In UK waters, data indicate a slight increase in offshore exploration and appraisal work, but a significant decline in development drilling. Danish and Dutch drilling remains modest.
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