British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey in June said there may be as much as 20 billion barrels of oil and associated natural gas available to energy companies eager to work offshore. Declining production rates and aging infrastructure, however, presented long-term risks.
BG Group Chairman Andrew Gould wrote Sunday in The Daily Telegraph investment in the North Sea has "been plagued by uncertainty." He blamed part of the uncertainty on rising taxes during the previous decade.
He said the British energy sector should look overseas to its Norwegian counterparts to breathe new life into the North Sea. The Norwegians are better at using technology to improve cost efficiency than the British, he said.
He said the British energy sector needs to be innovative in its approach to the North Sea or its reserves will continue to decline.
"We have to innovate to keep North Sea oil and gas ahead of the game, or face up to decline," he wrote.