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UK Government To Fast-Track Oil & Gas Development


The British government said on Monday it would enact sweeping measures to make it easier to unlock hard-to-extract North Sea gas and billions of barrels of oil. The government said the changes could be worth up to £200-billion ($370-billion) in the next two decades.

[…] The North Sea is thought to contain billions of barrels of hard-to-reach oil, but with many platforms and pipelines coming to the end of their working lives, time is running out to get at them.

The measures the government said it would adopt and fast-track were all recommended in a report drawn up by Ian Wood, former chairman of oil services company Wood Group, on maximising recovery of oil and gas from Britain’s North Sea.

The government said the changes could be worth up to £200-billion ($370-billion) in the next two decades and allow the industry to recover three to four billion more barrels of oil than would otherwise have been produced…

The government also pledged to cut red tape and better share infrastructure and geophysical information.

Cameron, who is due on Monday to hold his first full cabinet meeting in Scotland in Aberdeen, the heart of Britain’s oil industry, said Britain’s unity enabled it to maximise the benefits of Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas.

“I promise we will continue to use the U.K.’s broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race,” he said in a statement.

Ed Davey, the Energy Minister, said the measures were designed to address what he called “unprecedented challenges,” noting that tax revenues for 2012-13 were over 40 percent lower than the year before.

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