UK crude oil and natural gas liquids production rose by 4.8% in 2016, according to provisional figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
This is the second consecutive year that production has risen, but the department highlights that production is still just over a third of what it was during its peak in 1999.
The figures reveal that the fields feeding into the Flotta and Forties terminals are mostly responsible for the increased production. UK gas production also rose for the third consecutive year with an increase of 3.6%, with the new Laggan field west of the Shetlands being a new contributor. While this increase is welcomed, production still remains below 40% of peak production in the year 2000.
The demand for petroleum products is also up by 2.5% on last year, with increased demand for road fuels being particularly notable. The report also indicates an increased need for petroleum products to use as feedstocks in the petrochemical industry, such as to make industrial lubricants like Mobil DTE 24.
According to the report, electricity generation from low-carbon sources is slightly down on the previous year, mostly because of lower wind speeds for wind power generation, less rainfall for hydro-based technology, and outages at the Drax power plant, which is capable of firing biofuel. The recent trend away from using coal for electricity continued, with coal use being halved last year and offset by a 12% increase in the use of natural gas.