Barclays: UKCS Investment Set to Increase

Energy firms are set to step up investment on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), according to the results of a survey conducted by investment bank Barclays.

Barclays’ UK Oil and Gas Survey 2013, released Tuesday, revealed that 65 percent of energy companies surveyed said they anticipated their firm increasing its capital expenditure budget over the next couple of years. More than 60-percent of surveyed firms expect an increase over a five-year period.

Barclays also found that energy companies’ confidence in the future of the North Sea as a producing province was underlined by those surveyed stating they had plans to recruit up to 23,000 personnel during the next five years.

Meanwhile, almost 70 percent of respondents predicted an increase in the price of a barrel of oil over the next five years – with some expected a level higher than $120.

Commenting on the report Barclays Corporate Banking Head of Oil and Gas Walter Cumming said:

“The UKCS remains rich in opportunities and ripe for investment, not least because of the high commodity price.

“Spending has been targeted not only at maximising the output from the region’s mature fields, but also at unlocking new discoveries such as those in the waters west of Shetland. It’s becoming increasingly clear that plans are being drawn up to ensure exploration and production activity continues for decades to come.”

The survey follows on from other upbeat views about the oil and gas future of UKCS. In mid-July, business consultancy firm Deloitte released a report that predicted a positive second half to 2013 for drilling activity.

That report highlighted a significant increase in farm-in style agreements, in which one company takes a stake in another’s field – often to assist with drilling or development costs. During the second quarter of 2013 farm-ins accounted for around 70 percent of deals in northwest Europe, according to Deloitte.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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