LONDON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A Scottish university report says oil and natural gas production in the North Sea could increase dramatically but not as much as the government expects.
A report from the University of Aberdeen says oil production from the region could reach 1.4 million barrels per day in 2017 as new fields come online, The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London reports. Production last year declined more than 15 percent to 1.04 million bpd.
For natural gas, the university study said a short-term boom through 2015 but warned of a "brisk" decline for the latter half the decade. The report blamed the economics of field development and infrastructure as contributing factors to declines.
The University of Aberdeen study is, overall, lower than the 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent expected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Telegraph reports.
The bulk of the region's energy reserves lie in the North Sea. The U.S. Energy Department's reporting agency said the country remains a net energy importer.