North Sea to see 30 new oil and gas projects by 2020

Offshore oil platform

Around 30 new crude oil and natural gas projects are expected to start operating in the North Sea by 2020.

That’s according to research and consultancy firm GlobalData, which says the UK will lead the resurgence with 19 projects, followed by Norway with 10 and Denmark with a single installation.

A new report from the company suggests the downturn cycle witnessed in the region over the last few years is now easing slightly.

It states projects agreed upon in 2016 cost around half as much as projects finalised in 2013 and says this illustrates how companies have made clear improvements in cost efficiency.

GlobalData also notes operating costs have halved from nearly $30 per barrel (£24) to just more than $15 per barrel (£12) and production forecasts are on the rise.

The projects are expected to contribute around 690,000 barrels of oil per day to global crude production and about 1,255 million cubic feet per day to global gas production.

They will require a total capital expenditure of $56.7 billion (£45.50), of which 54% is expected to be spent between 2017 and 2020.

Luis Pereira, Upstream Analyst for GlobalData, explains: “Of the 30 upcoming North Sea projects, 22 are crude oil projects and eight are gas projects.

“Norway will dominate oil production, while the UK will dominate gas production.”

The Oil and Gas Authority says the vast majority of oil and gas projects in the UK North Sea have been delayed and delivered overbudget in the last five years.

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