Regional Report - North Sea: The near-term outlook is bright in Norway and Ireland, while a mixed bag remains for the UK, Denmark and The Netherlands ///

In the UK, the number of exploration and appraisal wells drilled between July 2011 and June 2012 decreased by 13%, compared to the same period the year before. The financial crisis and economic uncertainty, as well as the maturity of the North Sea, can be attributed to the downward trend that began in 2009. Norway has seen consistent levels of activity, with only a small decrease in the total number of wells drilled, three-quarters of which explored new prospects. A total of 126 deals has been recorded across North West Europe, 8% fewer than the previous year. The trend in favor of farm-in deals seen from 2010 until September 2011 has altered in the last year, as levels of asset transactions and farm-ins start to converge while investor confidence in the economy grows.

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