Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Energy Pulse

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Energy Pulse

Article excerpt

THE coming year looks like being one of significance in the North East energy sector with the oil and gas and renewables industries on the cusp of major growth.

This year's record levels of exploration and production activity in the North Sea are set to continue with the Government actively encouraging the industry to maximise its potential.

The Wood Review, which is set to publish its findings in early 2014, is likely to set in train measures to achieve this though the creation of a new hands-on industry regulator.

However, there have been signs of some uncertainty for the first time in a number of years with both Chevron and Statoil postponing developments in the North Sea due to rising costs.

Next September will also see the Scottish referendum vote and this is currently creating investor uncertainty.

The future direction of the price of oil will also play a significant part in determining activity levels. However with the global economy set to gather momentum in 2014, most analysts predict the oil price will remain around US$100 a barrel, and at this price all but the most technologically challenging fields are viable.

Here in the North East companies like fabricators the OGN Group in Newcastle, the region's leading subsea companies and the scores of contractors who feed into their supply chains will all benefit.

And many of the region's highvalue engineering and manufacturing firms are likely to be courted by overseas suitors looking to secure their positions in the sector.

The passing of the Energy Bill in early 2014 is expected to set in motion a chain of events of major significance for the North East and UK. The Government expects it to unleash PS100bn of private sector investment into the renewable sector which will support its aim to decarbonise the nation's electricity supply. …

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