Oil and gas sector ‘has two years to save North Sea’s future’

The North Sea basin has a two-year transformation window to ensure a strong, productive and profitable future.

That’s according to PwC which is calling for urgent changes in the oil and gas sector in the region.

However it states 58% of 37 senior oil and gas executives across the UK, Norway and Holland feel “positive” about the future of the North Sea despite present threats.

The ‘A Sea Change’ report highlights progress has been made in tackling cost efficiency across the basin but it is calling for a “robust roadmap” to transform it, meet short term energy needs and bridge the gap to a low carbon future.

The North Sea can continue to provide a few more decades of production with the right leadership, innovative strategies, intervention and co-operation between operators, oil field service sectors and government, it adds.

The report also states innovation has been stifled by large operators exporting their best talent to frontier basins.

The growth of independent companies and bringing new expertise and investment have also fostered fragmentation across the basin, it adds.

Alison Baker, PwC’s UK and EMEA oil and gas leader, said: “Part of the solution is for government agendas across Treasury, DECC and the OGA [Oil & Gas Authority] to be much better aligned to the needs of the whole industry, from super majors to smaller oil field services firms.

“The majority of respondents also want government to take a lesson from Norway and Saudi Arabia and be bold in setting out their blueprint for the future. This must incorporate onshore activity as well as defining how the North Sea basin will evolve in the short to medium term and crucially, how the end game – and subsequent transition to a low carbon landscape – will be managed.”

According to Oil & Gas UK, the number of jobs lost due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry in the UK could reach 120,000 by the end of 2016.