Offshore oil platform

A new report has revealed that changes to the way the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector operates are expected to produce at least three to four billion additional barrels of oil, in the next 20 years.

The findings, published by Wood Group’s recently retired chairman Sir Ian Wood ,call for a new focus on increasing the potential of the UK’s Continental Shelf (UKCS) waters.

According to the report, 41 billion barrels of oil and gas have already been produced from the UKCS, with 20 billion or more yet to be produced.

Further, the report estimates that complete implementation of Ian Wood’s recommendations will bring more than £200bn in additional value to the UK economy.

Ian Wood’s recommendations include a new shared strategy for maximising oil and gas economic recovery for the UK, and creation of a new regulatory body to oversee and develop the programme of change and growth.

The nation’s oil and gas industry in 2012-13 paid £6.5bn in corporate taxes on production, 15% of all corporate taxes in the UK and supports the employment of 450,000 people across the country.

The second half of the review is said to focus on strategies to make the most of the economic opportunity offered by retrieving offshore oil and gas.

State for Energy and Climate Change secretary Edward Davey said offshore oil and gas fields are one of Britain’s great natural assets.

"They are good for our energy security, because if we improve what we’re recovering domestically, we reduce our reliance on foreign imports. They are good for the economy, supporting jobs and thriving communities. And they are extremely good value for taxpayers," Davey added.

Image: Offshore oil platform. Photo courtesy of Crown Copyright.