Speaking in advance of the Offshore Northern Seas Conference Malcolm Wicks said that the UK, like Norway, needed to work hard to extend the life of North Sea reserves.
Malcolm Wicks said:
"It is increasingly important that we do as much as possible to maintain production and extend the potential and life of our own reserves. Our recent Energy Review recognizes this and through the 'stewardship initiative' we are identifying whether field owners are fully recognizing and maximizing opportunities for production. Research has already indicated that an additional 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent could be recovered if all mature fields received the investment that would allow them to reach their full potential.
"We are also building on things that have already worked well and I am pleased today to announce that we are expanding the existing mentoring scheme where both small and large UK and Norwegian oil and gas companies learn from each other about different experiences and business cultures. To date 16 different companies have taken part and the extension of the scheme recognizes that as the global oil and gas market place changes, partnerships and alliances will become increasingly important."
At the same time as the UK is entering a new era for energy supplies - becoming increasingly dependent on imports to meet demand - our partnership with Norway is critical to getting the energy we need to keep us warm this winter and going forward in the future.
Malcolm Wicks continued:
"With between 21 and 27 billion barrels of oil equivalent remaining, the North Sea continues to offer great opportunities. But we also have to look to the future and having the right infrastructure in place will be key to ensuring secure supplies. Our partnership with Norway is helping with this and the development of the new Langeled pipeline, one of 4 major gas import projects, will help keep us warm this winter.
"We have also been working with the Norwegians to look at ways to store carbon emissions in depleted oil fields. This technology could cut the level of CO2 emissions from power stations by up to 90% and has the potential to provide a solution to help mitigate the harmful effects of carbon emissions."
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