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LONDON, Feb 25 AFP

February 26 2013, 02:22AM

Britain's offshore oil and gas sector will invest a record STG13 billion ($A19 billion) in 2013, boosted by the impact of taxation changes in the previous year, an industry survey shows.

Overall investment is expected to surge by 14 per cent this year, compared with STG11.4 billion in 2012, industry body Oil & Gas UK said in a statement detailing its latest activity survey. Last year's figure had already been a 30-year high.

"Here is some really good news for the UK," said Oil & Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb.

"After two disappointing years brought about by tax uncertainty and consequent low investment, the UK continental shelf (UKCS) is now benefitting from record investment in new developments and in existing assets and infrastructure, the strongest for more than three decades."

He added that last year's changes in the taxation regime, which were aimed at promoting the development of a range of difficult energy projects, had prompted many companies to reassess their plans and sparked a new wave of investment.

Oil & Gas UK, which represents more than 300 firms, added that output was forecast to surge over the next three to four years thanks to the recent surge in investment.

Production was expected to jump to approximately 2.0 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by 2017, it said.

However, the industry body noted production sank to 1.55 million boepd in 2012. That was 14 per cent lower than 2011 and 30 per cent lower than 2010.

And output was forecast to decline in the current year to 1.45-1.5 million boepd.

"Recent collaborative work between government and industry is now bearing fruit in terms of investment and job creation right across Britain and recovery in production and tax revenues will certainly follow," added Webb in the statement.