According to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Britain’s North Sea oil production will fall in 2014 to new lows. The considerable decrease in production, which has not been seen since the early 1970s, is a fresh blow to Alex Salmond’s economic plans for Scottish independence, according to The Telegraph. Salmond has previously argued that exploiting oil resources will be enough to sustain Scotland’s economy if Scotland gains independence, which will be decided in a referendum to be held in September this year. According to Mr Salmond’s figures, the region’s remaining oil reserves will be worth £300,000 per person.
- Opec’s report, released this week, revealed that the projected output from the North Sea in 2014 could fall to an average of 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude, a fall of 70,000 b/d from 2013 when output hit its lowest average since 1977.
- UK oil production has fallen from a peak of close to 2.82m b/d in 1999, when the country’s net exports were 972,000 b/d. Until recently, the UK’s mature North Sea fields have seen decline rates averaging around 6pc a year.
- However, oil output slumped by more than 17pc in 2011 and 14pc in 2012 to less than 1m b/d, exacerbated by heavy maintenance and unplanned outages.
Opec has also forecast stronger global oil demand this year as economic growth picks up, which will lift demand for energy. Opec said that demand will rise by 1.09m barrels a day in 2014, an increase of 45,000 b/d on its previous forecasts, which will bring total world consumption to 90.98m b/d of crude.
Read the original article at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10633632/OPEC-says-North-Sea-oil-output-to-hit-new-lows.html