North Sea oil: Drill, maybe, drill

Posted: May 3, 2013 in economy
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UK Only Article: 
UK article only


Xi Jinping and the Chinese dream

Fly Title: 

North Sea oil


A spurt from an oilfield in decline could keep the economy above water

FROM a distance the Elgin platform looks like an insignificant speck against the featureless expanse of the North Sea. It is only when you approach the oil-and-gas structure that outsize pipes and valves make its bulk apparent. Economically, too, Britain’s oil and gas industry is much mightier than it seems—but it is an unruly giant, and not always benign.
With Britain’s economy hovering around zero growth, tremors in the North Sea can have a big effect. In March 2012 Elgin began leaking gas, leading to a year-long shutdown. With Buzzard, one of the region’s largest oilfields, also closed for maintenance last autumn, production plunged. Falling oil and gas output was the main reason Britain’s economy shrank by 0.3% in the last quarter of 2012. It had also helped knock the economy into recession a year earlier.

Britain’s fields are old and in long-term decline. But the immediate news is …

via Economic Crisis


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