There is still a lot of “untapped potential” for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea, a relative newcomer to the industry has said.
Integrated energy firm Taqa, which has been working in the North Sea for four years, said it was actively seeking out new fields to drill in the area.
David Priestley at the company said it was not true that oil and gas production was simply in decline. “We sense that there’s a lot of untapped potential still in the North Sea. We accept that there are no longer the ‘big ticket’ wins that were prevalent in the 1970s and 80s – but that’s not necessarily what we’re looking for.
“So we still think there’s lots more to find in small pockets. That provides interesting work for our geoscientists in finding it, and more interesting and exciting work for our engineers in working out how to export it once it’s been found.”
Taqa is establishing a centre of excellence for offshore oil and gas production in Aberdeen. It is also working on an onshore centre in Calgary, Canada. The firm’s UK operation produces 50,000 barrels a day and the company employs 380 staff, while supporting 2,000 more indirectly. India, the Middle East and North Africa are likely to be key areas for Taqa in the coming years. “But the North Sea will need to be the key,” Priestley said.
“We look at the established giants of the oil industry with the utmost respect, but they, through no fault of their own, have layers and layers of bureaucracy. Therefore we are able to make decisions quicker.”