Active year in UK continental shelf amid market and legislative uncertainties ///

In 2008, the major oil and gas price fluctuations have dominated the fortunes of the industry in the North Sea. Activity has generally been high, though production has continued to fall. More than 20 new fields came onstream in 2007, but it is highly unlikely that this figure will be achieved in 2008. The numbers of exploration and appraisal wells being drilled have been running at levels considerably in excess of those achieved in 2006 and 2007. This is perhaps the most encouraging feature of the year’s activities. On the other hand, the number of development wells drilled is running considerably below the levels of the past few years. Reflecting this, field development expenditure in 2008 will be less than achieved in 2007. Cost inflation continued to be a problem for much of 2008, though toward the end of the year there were some signs that the pressures were easing.

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