UK North Sea Oil Production To Be Maintained as Industry Moves To "Minimal Manning" Offshore


UK North Sea oil and gas production is set to be maintained at normal levels despite the industry moving to "minimal manning" of offshore facilities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade body Oil and Gas UK's health and safety director, Trevor Stapleton, said.

In a phone briefing with journalists, Stapleton said the industry was rapidly developing procedures to deal with COVID-19, which was thought to have infected a number of offshore workers in what is Europe's key oil and gas basin. UK oil production amounted to 1.1 million B/D last year.

Total North Sea output amounts to 3%–4% of global oil supply, with Norway producing some 2 million B/D, while the basin also meets a sizeable portion of Europe's gas demand.

Minimizing the number of workers posted offshore meant "production would be able to continue at normal rates and you would be doing safety-critical maintenance and some regular maintenance," Stapleton said, adding, however, hold-ups could be expected in certain instances, for example a piece of equipment failing.

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