"The Barents Sea is now a sea of opportunities," the Norwegian Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe, stated in the announcement of the 22nd licensing round on June 26.
In the aftermath of the Macondo incident it was rapidly recognised that, perhaps because of an impressive record of drilling without incident, the offshore industry had failed to focus on the potential impact of a well control incident in deepwater.
It's only a few months since I talked in this column about shale gas around the world but already there have been some significant further developments.
Of important significance to the oil and gas industry, the Government is due to introduce a "Patent Box" regime to encourage companies with high-tech assets to locate their base in the UK.
After the debacle of the UK's 2011 Budget which contributed to a significant fall in activity over the last year, it's great to be able to report on the positive developments for the industry coming out of the 2012 iteration.
One of the fascinating aspects of working in the oil and gas industry is its political context. Take Iraq, a country in which we are doing an increasing amount of work. Iraq could fairly be described as one of the most vibrant and, at the same time, the most legally unstable, hydrocarbon jurisdictions in the world today. Just consider that:
The shale gas industry is described as offering the potential for a revolution in the world energy market, which could transform world energy trade, geopolitics and climate policy.
THE long-running saga around holidays for offshore workers appears finally to have been brought to a close, with the decision of the Supreme Court handed down on December 7 in Russell and others v Transocean International Resources Limited (Scotland).
TRADITIONALLY, so-called "agreements to agree" were considered unenforceable under English and Scots law because they lacked the necessary certainty.
THE safety and environmental impact of the offshore oil and gas industry has, in past year or so, seen unprecedented scrutiny by the press and regulators.
MORE than ever before corporate corruption scandals are making the headlines.