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UK oil and gas reserves will expire in 10 years


The UK’s oil industry could be entering its final decade of production, according to new research.

A study of output from offshore fields estimates about 10% of the nation’s original recoverable oil and gas remains.

If the predictions are correct, the UK would soon have to import all the oil and gas it needs, scientists have warned.

Academics behind the work are now urging the UK Government to use more renewable energy sources, particularly offshore wind and advanced solar energy technologies.

Professor Roy Thompson from the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said: “The UK urgently needs a bold energy transition plan, instead of trusting to dwindling fossil fuel reserves and possible fracking.

“We must act now and drive the necessary shift to a clean economy with integration between energy systems.

“There needs to be greater emphasis on renewables, energy storage and improved insulation and energy efficiencies.”

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh examined the nation’s likely potential for fracking and carried out a fresh analysis of the country’s oil and gas production.

Analysis of hydrocarbon reserves shows discoveries have consistently lagged behind output since the industry’s peak in the late 1990s.

The research predicts that both oil and gas reserves – standing at 11% and 9% respectively – will run out within 10 years.

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: “If this turns out to be the case, it will be devastating for the north east economy.

“It’s now more essential than ever that both the Scottish and UK governments work together to maximise what’s left in the North Sea, and assist those who’ve suffered as a result of the downturn.”

The study, published in The Edinburgh Geologist, found that the UK has small potential for fracking.

This was because many possible sites are in densely populated areas, with low quality source rocks and complex geological histories.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The future for renewable energy is bright in Scotland and we have a record on growing the sector of which we are proud.

“Scotland’s offshore oil and gas industry also has a bright future, and, with the right regulatory and fiscal environment, the basin has up to 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent remaining, and this year has seen one of the biggest new discoveries of untapped oil in recent times.

“However it is the UK Government which retains most of the policy responsibility for the industry and which must use those powers to create the appropriate climate to protect jobs and investment.”

Further calls have been made to bring in more investment to the industry.

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, said: “There are up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas resources still to be recovered on the UK Continental Shelf, based on production forecasts provided by the Oil and Gas Authority.

“To ensure the remaining potential of the UKCS is realised, we need to keep operating costs low, bring in new investment and maintain a relentless focus on exploration and enhanced recovery.”

Scottish Labour’s economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie MSP said: “This is a worrying report about our oil and gas sector. It would be deeply regrettable if the predictions in this report come to fruition and we see oil and gas reserves only last another decade.

“We need to make sure we are investing in exploration to maximise new opportunities in oil and gas. However, this also reinforces the need for Scotland to move toward renewable energy, as well, which will provide new jobs and industry, and help preserve the environment too.”

A UK government spokesman said: “We do not recognise these figures.

“Research by the independent Oil and Gas Authority shows that in 2035, North Sea gas will still meet around a quarter of UK demand with oil from the same source meeting around a third.

“The UK Government is committed to ensuring a diverse energy mix and supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean.”

time and star

60 Comments on "UK oil and gas reserves will expire in 10 years"

  1. Davy on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 6:11 pm 

    “PH one of 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change”

    “In the case of the Philippines, it is impacted by tropical storms and heavy precipitation and flooding. Sometimes these two things come together and this is the reason why the Philippines is often in our top 10,” Kreft said. The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons every year. Yolanda (international name Haiyan), the strongest typhoon to make landfall then, left the Philippines with more 7,000 people dead in November 2013. Haiyan also left the Philippines with $13 billion in economic loss. This put the Philippines as the top most affected country by climate change in the Global Climate Risk Index of 2015. (READ: COP 22: Energy is PH’s ‘elephant in the room’)”

  2. Davy on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 6:16 pm 

    “This map shows why the Philippines is so vulnerable to climate change”

    “The Philippines is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change for two main reasons: geography and development. As my colleague Brad Plumer points out in an excellent piece on what the Philippines’ experience with Typhoon Haiyan tells us about global efforts to adapt to climate change, a recent United Nations report identified the country as the third-most at-risk from climate change in the world, ranked behind the South Pacific island nations of Vanuatu and Tonga.”

    “The map divides the country’s offshore areas into 11 zones and identifies specific risks for each of them from the effects of climate change. These are the five different risk factors it identifies: a rise in sea levels, extreme rainfall events, extreme heating events, increased ocean temperatures and a disturbed water budget. Given the Philippines’ vast shorelines and built-in geographic susceptibility, any one of these could be disastrous.”

  3. makati1 on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 6:55 pm 

    And this is to mean? You are not telling me anything new, but you need to look at your own country, Davy. I guess Harvey, Jose, Maria, etc are just mirages? The millions of acres burning in the West are illusions? The droughts in the FSofA food baskets are fake? Interesting that we don’t have fires and droughts. And this year has been a quiet one as far as typhoons go. None even forming. Whereas, they are still lining up in the Atlantic. This is a trillion dollar weather year for America. Wait and see.

    You better worry about the collapse happening in your own country, not what is happening in the one I choose to live in. But keep paying your taxes. I am still buying preps with the SS you send me. LOL

  4. makati1 on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 6:59 pm 

    Nice propaganda piece. Again, a lot of pure Amerocentric bullshit. The serfs will alp it up as they read it in the newspapers they use to keep warm on the streets. LMAO

  5. makati1 on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 7:01 pm 

    Davy, you have to have money to consume. That will not be the case in the future. The Fed is taking your economy down. The Great Leveling is gaining speed. Be patient.

  6. MASTERMIND on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 7:16 pm 

    Cloggie look how BLM treats white woman?

  7. makati1 on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 7:16 pm 

    Davy, you might want to read:

    “The United States just experienced its largest rainfall event in memory. For the first time in recorded weather history, two category 4 hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, hit in a single season (not yet over). And San Francisco, famed for its chilliness, experienced an unheard of 106 degree day as September began, while a record West Coast heat wave, essentially an unending Irma or Harvey of wildfires, left parts of the region, from Los Angeles to British Columbia, enwreathed in a pall of smoke and ash (without even an El Niño year to blame for it). And did I mention that both states hit by those recent hurricanes have climate-change denying governors? Or that the man now in charge in Washington also denies the reality of climate change (a Chinese hoax!) and has stocked his administration with a remarkable cast of fervent deniers (the latest such appointment being the head of NASA), who have essentially wiped all references to the phenomenon off every imaginable federal website, fired climate-change scientists, and — as a crew regularly backed in their careers by big energy — seem intent on recreating the fossil-fueled America of The Donald’s 1950s childhood.”

    Yep! Looking good for Amerika! LMAO

  8. Apneaman on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 10:21 pm 

    Hey rockman, apparently some “consumers” are not happy with the product.

    As the Worst Storms Grow More Frequent, San Francisco and Oakland Sue Fossil Fuel Companies over Rising Sea Levels

    “Faced with ramping damages and increased infrastructure costs from rising seas, both San Francisco and Oakland are suing major fossil fuel companies for their considerable contributions to the problem.

    According to a report from SF Gate today, the claim is asking coal, oil and gas companies like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP to pay billions of dollars in damages for not only producing the heat-trapping gases that drove sea-level rise but for knowingly doing so.

    Fossil Fuel Companies Sued For Role in Rising Seas, Attempts at Cover-up

    The suits join those already filed by San Mateo and Marin counties as well as the community of Imperial Beach. San Francisco and Oakland, however, are the first large cities to engage in the suit –with these two cities combined representing a total population of 1.3 million people.”

  9. Apneaman on Wed, 20th Sep 2017 10:41 pm 

    ““Defendants stole a page from the Big Tobacco playbook and sponsored public relations campaigns, either directly or through the American Petroleum Institute or other groups, to deny and discredit the mainstream scientific consensus on global warming, downplay the risks of global warming and even to launch unfounded attacks on the integrity of leading climate scientists,” the San Francisco suit reads.”

    A few more AGW jacked mega disasters and they’ll be having the Denier-Nuremberg trials with live streaming from the gallows. I can’t wait to see Rush Limbaugh crying and pleading as they drag him up the scaffold “I was just following orders”.

  10. MinorityofOne on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 2:50 am 

    I’d be surprised if UK North Sea oil production could last another 10 years, anything like it. No-one here is making money. Many of the smaller companies have already gone bankrupt, and those that are still operating are barely keeping their heads above water, financially. The global economic outlook looks grim, so if oil demand falls substantially say over the next year or ten, much faster than oil production, presumably the oil price can and will go much lower. If oil prices go much lower and stay there, that will be the end of UK offshore oil production, I would have thought. The amount of oil left in the ground will be irrelevant, but there are no big ‘good’ oil fields left.

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