North Sea Enjoys Upturn in Fortunes

Article excerpt

The North Sea is still a vital source of business and several companies have been quick to take full advantage. They said it was a dying industry. The North Sea, so often praised during the 1980s as a major contributor to the regional economy, has more recently been dubbed a sunset industry by some commentators.

However, recent discoveries suggest the industry is seeing a renaissance. More important, they have every chance of creating business opportunities for companies in the industry's supply chain.

This news is particularly pleasing for the NOF (Northern Offshore Federation), a trade association that provides business support to the offshore, marine and renewable-energy sectors and associated industries. NOF has 220 member companies in the region and several of these are to benefit from a string of exciting recent discoveries.

Chevron Texaco Group, one of the world's largest energy companies, made a significant oil and gas discovery in the deep waters of the Rosebank/ Lochnagar well in the Faroe-Shetland Channel.

The strike was made in 1,100 metres of water and West Navigator, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), was used to carry out the drilling on the boundary between the UKCS and the Faroese sector. On the back of this discovery, Chevron Texaco has announced plans to carry out more drilling with its partners Statoil, OMV and DONG.

Texaco Overseas Petroleum president George Kirkland said: "This discovery positions the company for continued growth in the region and further underscores our corporate exploration strategy."

President and managing director for Chevron Texaco Upstream Europe Gary Luquette said: "We are extremely encouraged by the well results. This is an exciting opportunity and endorses our continued commitment to exploration in the Atlantic margin test area and ongoing investment in the UK continental shelf."

Another company to benefit is Dana Petroleum, an independent oil and gas company focused on the development of low-risk production from the UK North Sea. Dana recently struck an agreement with Antrim Resources to drill an exploration well to test the Clachnaben prospect, which is just to the east of Shell's Cormorant oilfield. …