by Daniel J. Graeber
London (UPI) May 14, 2013
Oil production from the British waters of the North Sea could see its first increase in more than 10 years, a regional director for BP said.
Monthly production from key field indices in the North Sea show a decline from 2.02 million barrels of oil per day in 2007 to 1.16 million bpd last year. Since January, however, production has recovered to 1.2 million bpd, BP regional vice president for Europe Peter Mather told a Platts oil summit in London.
"This year could be the first in over a decade that U.K. offshore production does not fall, potentially leading to a slight increase in the next few years," he said Tuesday.
Oil from the North Sea met around 65 percent of the British oil demand in 2012 and paid nearly $11 million in taxes to the government in 2012-13. The industry employs about 450,000 people.
Paul Mason, a new business manager for Total, said British tax policies were leading to a decline in North Sea investments.
"We are seeing that a development boom in the last few years is easing," he warned.
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