UK oil and natural gas production declined in 2010, mirroring the larger trend seen over the past decade, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reports.
In the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2011 report, DECC reports that primary energy production in 2010 totaled 158.1 million tones of oil equivalent, down 5.3 percent from 2009. Production has fallen each year since 1999, and is down 46.9 percent on 1999 levels, an average rate of decline of 5.6 percent.
Crude oil production, which includes natural gas liquids (NGLs), in 2010 was 63 million tones, 7.7 percent lower than in 2009, and now accounts for 44 percent of primary energy production.
DECC notes that net imports of crude oil and NGLs rose to meet demand with oil exports decreasing by six percent. Net imports grew to just under 9 million tones or around 13 percent of the UK's demand.
The decrease in oil production over the past 10 years shows a sharp rate of decline between 2002 and 2006, with a shallower profile in later years. The main factor behind this flattening effect was the Buzzard field development, which compensated for the sharper falls seen in existing fields. On average, crude oil production has been decreasing by around seven percent a year.
Gross UK gas production has been decreasing since 2000, and in 2010 was down 4.3 percent from 2009. Gross gas production has fallen by 47.3 percent since its peak in 2000. Gas imports in 2010 were almost a third higher than in 2009, mainly because of lower production and higher demand.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is increasingly important as a source of imports to supplement existing ones. In September 2010, imports from shipped LNG surpassed the gas imported via pipeline from Norway for the first time; in 2010, LNG imports accounted for 35 percent of the UK's total commercial imports.
UK primary energy consumption in 2010 grew by 3.2 percent, largely driven by the colder weather in 2010. Total oil consumption in the UK fell marginally in 2010; the majority of final consumption of oil, around 75 percent, was consumed in the transport sector. Energy use for transport fell by one percent in 2010 compared to 2009, largely due to falls in aviation fuel resulting from disruptions due to snow and volcanoes.
Overall gas demand grew by 8.4 percent in 2010, with gas demand for electricity generation growing by 3.5 percent; gas's share of the UK's supply of electricity was 47 percent.
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