North Sea oil and gas reserves will run out within the next 10 years, a Scottish geoscientist Roy Thompson said on September 19, 2017.
Prof. Roy Thompson of Edinburgh University said a study of production decline in offshore fields showed the industry is entering its final decade.
The research also cast doubt on the Scotland’s prospects of developing an economically feasible fracking industry.
The study, published in The Edinburgh Geologist, said only 10% of the UK’s original recoverable oil and gas remains.
The gloomy prediction was based on analysis demonstrating that not enough new discoveries had been made in the last 20 years to replace produced reserves.
If the predictions turn out to be correct, the UK will soon have to import all the oil and gas it needs, researchers said.
The forecast will come as a surprise to many in the oil and gas industry, as a number of projects with long production lifecycles recently came onstream, or will do in the near future.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: «Scotland’s offshore oil and gas industry has a bright future, and, with the right regulatory and fiscal environment, the basin has up to 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent remaining, and this year has seen one of the biggest new discoveries of untapped oil in recent times.»