Chairman of North Sea’s new taskforce: ‘building blocks’ are there for successful oil industry

The new chairman of the North Sea’s efficiency taskforce has said no stone can be left unturned in the quest to make the basin competitive globally.

Phil Simons, Subsea 7’s vice president for North Sea and Canada, said the task force had put new standards in place and promoted new processes for different projects, including subsea field developments.

At the start of December, the Oil and Gas Authority said North Sea upstream firms had cut the unit operating costs for the second year in a row – to £12 per barrel in 2016.

The taskforce, launched by Oil and Gas UK in September 2015 to tackle spiralling costs, low efficiency and falling production, is determined to make sure good practices become embedded in the way companies work.

Mr Simons said the “building blocks” for a successful industry are there, but is adamant that companies must not stop and say, “that’s it, we’ve done it”.

Mr Simons said the taskforce would go out to businesses to show them what it can offer – a goal it has been fulfilling through roadshows.