North Sea oil and gas industry optimism declining

Optimism among key players in the North Sea oil and gas sector is at a five year low, according to new research from the leading UK offshore representative body.

Oil & Gas UK’s Business Sentiment Index, which is published quarterly, showed a plummet in optimism from two points above zero, to seven points below zero. Trigger factors influencing mood were identified as rising costs, a reduction in drilling and the fall in oil prices.

Oonagh Werngren, operations director at Oil and Gas UK, said: “Over the last six quarters, there has been a marked trend towards declining optimism in the sector but this is the first time the overall index has moved into negative territory since 2009.

“In recent months, the North Sea oil and gas industry has been considering the implications of a falling oil price which makes it harder to attract new investment.

“Many of our survey respondents expressed concern over future activity levels, which have not been helped by rising costs.”

Ms Werngren added: “The industry urgently awaits an announcement on the 28th Licensing Round, the appointment of the new chief executive officer of the Oil and Gas Authority and the outcome of the Treasury’s fiscal review to ensure that the basin remains competitive on a global basis. Together, answers on these should help boost confidence in the UKCS.”

Oil & Gas UK, which was established in 2007, represents the long-term health of the offshore oil and gas industry in the United Kingdom.

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