News across the oil and gas landscape has been a little jittery (to say the least) in recent months. With prices continuing to drop, the industry body Oil & Gas UK reported that overall in 2014, the sector had managed to spend over £5billion more than it managed to earn. Other lowlights from the report showed that production fell slightly at a 1% rate, that only 8 new fields had been sanctioned and that production revenues peaked at £24.4billion – the lowest rate since 1998.
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The oil and gas industry has not exactly been short of news coverage. With the debate over fracking and shale extraction raging, more wide-ranging news has had to take something of a back seat. However, an annual review by the research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie has brought some focus back to UK oil and gas, away from shale.
On September 18th, the Scottish independence referendum will take place. A hotly contested debate has taken in issues such as currency options, education policy and the potential for EU membership should Scotland vote ‘Yes’. Somewhat inevitably, however, the discussion has focused on a perpetual economic hot potato: North Sea oil.