To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage change in crude oil production from the UK occurred between January and March 2004 and January and March 2005; and what assessment the Department has made as to whether were this trend to continue throughout 2005, the UK would produce more or less oil than it consumed.
Provisional data for 2005 suggest that crude oil production fell by 12 per cent. between the first quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. A more detailed analysis is due to be published on
Since peaking in 1999, indigenous oil production has been gradually declining as UKCS reserves deplete. New fields are expected to start production from the latter half of 2005 and consequently the decline in UK crude production is projected to plateau before reverting back to its gradual decline from 2008. The UK is still anticipated to become a net importer of crude oil and petroleum products by around 2010.