Chart from FT.com
Opening up the North Sea in the 1970s helped break the power of Opec, the oil producers’ cartel, and deliver two decades of cheap energy, from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s. Now, the region is one of the fastest-declining oil provinces in the world, according to the International Energy Agency. On the UK side, oil and gas output peaked at the turn of the decade and has been falling by 7.5 per cent a year since 2002.
Today, the North Sea supplies about 4m barrels of oil a day from the UK and Norway, meeting about 4.7 per cent of global demand. That is about as much as Iran and more than Kuwait, Venezuela or Nigeria. By 2013, that will have dropped to 3m b/d or 3.2 per cent of demand, the IEA predicts.
The article continues providing a lot of interesting observations. Myopic politicians would do well to read this short article about the negative implications of North Sea oil production declines and the benefits that accrued to Britain and Norway from the opening of the North Sea production.