Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Plumb the Depths for Prosperity; Teesside Firms Are Gearing Up for a Deep-Sea Dash for Oil That Could Solve the Country's Energy Security Woes. but Do They Have What It Takes to Sink to New Depths? Environment Reporter KELLEY PRICE Finds Out

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Plumb the Depths for Prosperity; Teesside Firms Are Gearing Up for a Deep-Sea Dash for Oil That Could Solve the Country's Energy Security Woes. but Do They Have What It Takes to Sink to New Depths? Environment Reporter KELLEY PRICE Finds Out

Article excerpt

Byline: KELLEY PRICE

NORTH Sea oil fields may be dwindling, but there's still plenty of untapped resource for those companies prepared to venture deeper.

Government recognises the energy prize to be had. Earlier this month, a committee of MPs opposed any moratorium on deep water drilling for oil in the UK's seas.

Environmentalists say harsh North Sea conditions would test latest deep sea equipment to its limits -and could result in another Deepwater Horizon spill.

Last year temptingly large tax breaks were brought in to lure firms into braving the logistical monsters of the deep.

But questions have been raised by the Energy and Climate Change Committee about whether equipment used to tackle oil spills could do its job in the harsh conditions west of Shetland, where drilling in water up to 1,000 metres deep is already underway.

And confusion over liability laws could leave the UK taxpayer picking up the bill for a major oil spill offshore, their report in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico disaster also warns.

But while the risks are high, so are the rewards.

Handled correctly, the untapped pot of black gold in UK waters could be the answer to an impending energy crisis.

And Teesside can get its fair share of the work -we just need to bang the drum a bit harder, say energy chiefs.

"We need to stop being apathetic," says Tees Alliance Group (TAG) chair David Eason.

"Politicians are now realising this country depends on manufacturing.

"We need to make things we're good at -and this year, here on Teesside, we need to get across that we're a centre of excellence for manufacturing.

"Around 50% of what's in the North Sea steel-wise was built here.

"The North Sea has been a very good resource for growth and employment for this region. If there's more drilling, it means more platforms and more work for Teesside. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.