Watching the World: Changing North Sea identities

The economic crisis precipitated by the low crude prices of 1998 brought with it a kind of crisis of identity for the North Sea oil and gas industry. Yet while the region's recovery is under way-with the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) expecting a 30% hike in development spending this year and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum about to award a tranche of exploration licenses-the reinvention of the industry that grew up around the North Sea is in limbo.For the Norwegians, one feature of the industry's future identity is clearly natural gas. Statoil AS CEO Olav Fjell said last week the soon-to-be-partially privatized state-owned company plans to build on its position as ...

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