The UK’s oil production levels have risen in the North Sea, showing the initial signs of a tentative recovery from the crash that has affected oil markets globally.
In total, production levels in the North Sea have risen by around one fifth from 2015’s all-time lows.
The Provisional figures from the Scottish Government show that oil and gas production in the basin in 2015/16 has gone up by 21% from its low point in 2014/15, totalling 70 million tonnes of gas and oil.
Oil prices began to plummet towards the end of 2014, eventually reaching a 12-year low early this year when they were at $28 per barrel. This meant that investment in the North Sea was almost nonexistent, and as a result, production was slashed to all-time lows of 5.7 million tonnes. This meant that the Scottish Government had a shortfall in its income.
The most recent North Sea data is the most positive since 2011/12, when the area was producing roughly 72.7 million tonnes. However, the rates are still way below the 100 million tonnes of gas and oil that were produced in 2010/11, and even further away from the 184.6 million tonnes recorded in 1999/2000.
So, despite the fact the latest figures are promising, the North Sea region has a long way to go until it is back to its heyday of massive oil production. Still, the news of a slight recovery will be welcome to everyone from the Scottish Government to the likes of Royal Dutch Shell, which makes Shell Gadus S2 V100 3 and has interests in the region.