The equivalent of 41 billion barrels of oil have already been produced from the UK Continental Shelf, but production is declining. Improving the way the UK's offshore oil and gas industry is regulated could boost the economy by £200bn over the next 20 years, according to a new government-commmissioned report by retired oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, reports BBC Scotland.
The current regulator, which is situated within the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is now significantly under resourced and far too thinly spread to effectively manage the increasingly complex business and operating environment, Sir Ian finds in his report.
He pointed to the rapid fall in production efficiency as an indication of poor asset stewardship by the industry, which the regulator had not been able to adequately confront.
Sir Ian called on the DECC to establish a new arm's length regulatory body to take on the stewardship role for the next phase of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) which would be appropriately resourced and equipped with additional powers to achieve greater co-ordination of activities and collaboration, closer in style and influence to neighbouring North Sea regulators.
Source: BBC Scotland