Watching the World
North Sea fears

The price for dated Brent crude oil has settled around $24-25/bbl, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is holding back production, and inventories are falling. So why is the North Sea oil industry gloomy?As far as OPEC is concerned, London's Centre for Global Energy Studies reckons the organization is paralyzed with fear, as ministers dread repeating the mistake of raising output at the wrong time.But non-OPEC producers are fearful too, particularly in high-cost areas. For example, Shell UK Exploration & Production slated a three-field investment-a rare event in the North Sea of late-but the outlay will be minimal.OPEC's paralysisCGES said the price of oil is on fire, ...

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