Press release

Economic benefits of offshore oil and gas to be maximised

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The economic benefits of offshore oil and gas production, for energy security, jobs, tax revenue and growth to be maximised.

Press notice: 13/060

The economic benefits of offshore oil and gas production, for energy security, jobs, tax revenue and growth are set to be maximised, as Government announced the start of an independently-led review today.

The UK’s oil and gas industry is of vital national economic importance, supporting 440,000 jobs, and stimulating business, innovation and skills. Some 41 billion barrels of oil and gas have already been produced from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and we must maintain our momentum and make the most of the huge opportunity that the UKCS still represents.

The review will be led by Sir Ian Wood, who will undertake full analysis, and work with industry leaders and Government to make recommendations for improving the future economic recovery of UKCS oil and gas.

Secretary of State Edward Davey said:

“Although investment levels are rising strongly, the UKCS is one of the most mature basins in the world and therefore faces unprecedented challenges.

“Our offshore infrastructure is getting older, and we are seeing a decline in the rate of exploration and in the amount of oil and gas that is being recovered.

“All these issues need to be addressed if we are to stimulate innovation in this sector and see maximum economic benefit for the UK in the decades ahead.

“Sir Ian is a highly respected figure in the industry and his leadership will bring firepower and credibility to this much needed work”.

Sir Ian Wood said:

“The UK’s oil and gas industry is a key component of economic growth, our energy supply and technology development and we must do all we can to ensure its potential is reached. Therefore, it is an honour to be asked to undertake this important work and an opportunity to bring my considerable knowledge and experience in the industry to the review. I look forward to getting started.

“I will consult with Government and industry on the key lines of inquiry that will make a real difference to improving our economic recovery including optimising use of and extending life of infrastructure, production efficiency and maximising the use of key technologies. The review will also consider the current structure, scale and effectiveness of the Government stewardship regime given the technical and commercial complexity in what is now the mature phase of the UK continental shelf.

“The values involved in UK oil and gas are so large that even modest increases in key production metrics over time will deliver significant economic benefits.”

Malcolm Webb, Oil & Gas UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“The UK oil and gas industry is a driving force for Britain’s energy security, economy and innovation.

“In overcoming the challenges of producing oil and gas in a mature province and in ensuring the basin’s full potential is realised, collaboration between companies in the sector and a well-resourced and expert regulator is crucial so we welcome the launch of this review.

“With decades of experience in the sector, Sir Ian Wood, who is to conduct the review, is well-respected and highly knowledgeable so we look forward to a comprehensive, critical and robust examination of the pertinent issues.”

Notes for editors

  • This is the first time for more than 20 years that such a review has been conducted.
  • The interim conclusions from the review will be published in the autumn and the final report and recommendations in early 2014.