British oil and gas output up for first time since 1999: industry

4th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

British production of oil and gas rose in 2015 for the first time in 15 years but may struggle to maintain the performance amid low energy prices, an industry body said Monday.

Output is expected to have risen by as much as eight percent last year after a strong first 10 months, Oil and Gas UK said in a statement.

"Output in November and December tends historically to be more stable, but even so, Oil & Gas UK now expects year end production for the full year of 2015 to be seven to eight percent higher than last year," said its chief executive Deirdre Michie.

Referring to the low price environment, she added: "Times are really tough for this industry and for the people working in it. We will continue to see job losses as we move into 2016."

The organisation said that UK gas production rose 6.1 percent last year compared with 2014, while liquids grew 10.6 percent.

Britain's oil and gas production is concentrated mainly in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.

Michie said last year's increases were a result of "the industry-wide focus on improving production efficiency coupled with investments of more than £50 billion ($73 billion, 68 billion euros) over the last four years to bring new fields on stream".

Oil prices meanwhile tumbled by about 35 percent in 2015, largely owing to a global supply glut.

Last October, Oil & Gas UK said the number of jobs supported by Britain's energy sector had contracted by 15 percent since the start of 2014 to 375,000.

© 2016 AFP

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