Oil & Gas UK

Brent Delta

Kevin Keane

BBC Scotland's environment correspondent

Drilling in the UK sector in 2018 was at its lowest level since the 1960s but analysts predict a North Sea pick-up.

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Tax breaks for the oil industry?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

North Sea oil worker
Reuters

With the level of drilling so low in the North Sea, does that mean the industry will be lobbying the government for tax breaks - in time for the Autumn Statement in November?

Not necessarily.

Oil & Gas UK's chief executive Deirdre Michie says: "What we're looking for from the government is a stable fiscal regime that they have put in place and we have worked with them to do that.

"Actually we have the Exchequer secretary up in Aberdeen a couple of weeks ago and he re-confirmed the government's commitment to [a stable fiscal regime] because they understand the importance of this industry in terms of security of energy supply, of jobs and they recognise that investors are looking for confidence because, of course, their decisions are all long-term and they need to know they can put their monies here rather than anywhere else."

North Sea drilling dries up

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

North Sea oil rig
Getty Images

Oil & Gas UK, the association is releasing its annual economic report on the industry today and activity is slow to say the least.

Oil & Gas UK's chief executive Deirdre Michie tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Over the years we have seen quite a decline in the drilling activity generally, whether it is exploration or development.

"Years ago we would have seen those numbers up in the 20s to 30s in exploration terms and development into the 80s to 100s so when we're seeing these numbers, especially in exploration that is a real concern, as our report has highlighted."