2014 could be the year that the UK moves more towards shale gas with the British Government giving out the next round of exploration licenses this year, as well as being granted extra exploration licenses from Norway for oil in the North Sea.
The first nuclear power plant for 20 years is to be built, which also suggests a new period of growth, creating some 25,000 jobs and it should help to tackle the current engineering skills shortage.
More good news for those in the oil and gas sector as it is predicted that the boom in new jobs will also see a wage rise. 68% of oil and gas workers saw a pay rise in 2013, so it’s a positive feeling for the industry in terms of employment. Confidence in the oil and gas industry is strong and likely to increase; the majority of workers are confident that tax breaks will continue to boost investment and interest in the sector.
If Scotland were to claim Independence from the United Kingdom this year it would have a major effect on the North Sea Oil industry. Alex Salmond has increasingly focused his economic case for independence around the North Sea Oil reserves, telling Scots that the remaining reserves could be worth £300,000 per person. However the ‘black gold’ will be fiercely fought over by London and Edinburgh politicians, if it were split via the North Sea border then 90% of the revenues would go straight to Scotland. It is unlikely that England’s politicians would sit back and let this fly as revenues from the North Sea reserves are so high. It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on what the feeling is north of the border.
It’s likely that the US Shale gas revolution will continue strongly into 2014 and beyond. The US could even become energy self-sufficient by 2015 which could cause huge shifts in the global energy market.
We could also see an increase in development in the production of natural gas and oil. This will again increase chances to work in the sector and open up job opportunities throughout the coming year.
Advances in technology and improvement in techniques for well-completion could mean steadily increasing recovery rates for shale oil and gas wells across the world in 2014. Those who believe in the Peak Oil theory will continue to ignore this. In the same vein ‘Peak Oil’ will not arrive in 2014.
Overall with an increase in interest and action with fracking it looks set to be a strong year for the oil and gas industries, especially as there will be an abundance of new jobs and investments within the sector. We’ll be keeping up to date with all the relevant oil and gas news throughout the year, so keep an eye on our Twitter account @KingsbridgeProf.