COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 20 (UPI) -- Maersk Oil joined supermajors Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and others in announcing support for a research center aimed at increasing production and earnings from the North Sea.
"It is an important task for Denmark to get the maximum benefit from North Sea oil and gas in the future (and) it's the research center's primary purpose to support this," Senior Vice President of Maersk Oil Troels Albrechtsen said in a statement.
Danish oil and natural gas contributed to the 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day produced by Maersk Oil operations.
Albrechtsen said work was under way to define specific research objectives. Final development plans are expected by the end of the year.
The Danish Energy Agency reported that oil production as of 2011 was around 80 billion barrels, a decline of almost 10 percent compared to the previous year. The agency blamed ongoing exploitation from the North Sea for much of the decline.
It added, however, that exploration activity remained high. A licensing round is expected from the Danish government later this year.