The oil and gas offshore industry regulator has reduced its estimates of the amount of known oil and gas left under UK waters. The amount in known reserves and capable of extraction has dropped from 6.3 billion barrels to 5.7 billion, over the year to the end of 2016. The central estimate by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) was 7.8 billion barrels at the end of 2014.
The study points out that 43.5 billion barrels of oil and its gas equivalent have been extracted from UK waters since the offshore industry began production in the 1970s.
The latest estimate is seen as being enough to sustain some production for at least the next two decades.
Royal Dutch Shell has opened its first charging points for electric vehicles at UK filling stations in a further sign of the Anglo-Dutch group’s diversification beyond fossil fuels.
Drivers will be able to recharge EVs at 10 locations, mostly in London and south east England, by the end of the year. The launch follows Shell’s acquisition last week of NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest EV charging companies with 30,000 private home charging points and 50,000 public sites. EVs still account for only about 1% of global car sales and an even smaller fraction of cars on the road but the market is growing rapidly.
This is forcing oil companies to confront an increasing likelihood that global oil demand will slow and eventually decline over the next few decades as cars and some other forms of transportation switch to cleaner forms of energy.
Shell has gone further than most oil and gas groups in preparing for this transition, including a big shift in its portfolio from oil to lower-carbon gas and a series of investments in the electricity supply chain.