Grounds for optimism exist on UKCS ///

This year saw some encouraging developments on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). In particular, field investment registered a sharp increase over 2000 levels. From just under £3 billion ($4.37 billion) in 2000, it could end up at around £4 billion ($5.83 billion) by the end of 2001. Compared to many other parts of the world, investment was relatively slow to pick up in the UK following the oil price increases of 1999 and 2000. This sparked fears that perhaps the maturity of the UKCS would have a stronger, negative effect on investment than other influences. In turn, this would have raised the specter of permanent decline. The substantial upturn in investment this year is thus doubly welcome.

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