29 September 2011, Sweetcrude, London – British oil production saw its quarterly output fall by 15.9% from April to June, its steepest drop since records began 16 years ago.
According to the country’s energy ministry, both the long-term depletion of the UK North Sea and current production issues were behind the figures.
“Maintenance and other production issues, alongside the long-term reduction, were the main causes of the decrease”, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement confirmed industry data showing UK oil output dropped below 1 million barrels per day for only the second time in more than 30 years this summer as maintenance exacerbated a steep decline in output from depleted North Sea oilfields.
The British sector of the North Sea pumped just 984,000 barrels per day of oil in June, down from just over 1 million barrels per day in May and a peak of more than 2.7 million barrels per day in 1999, according to industry data.
The ministry said that during the second quarter of 2011 the UK was a net importer of oil and oil products to the tune of 3.6 million tonnes, up from 2.8 million tonnes in the second quarter. The UK remained a net exporter of oil products in the second quarter of 2011, by 2 million tonnes.
Overall primary UK demand for oil products in the second quarter of 2011 was 2.1% lower year-on-year, it said.