World-class discoveries made in the UK North Sea in recent months have “turned heads” of investors, according to the chief executive of Chrysaor.
Phil Kirk was speaking at the AECC yesterday for the publication of Oil and Gas UK’s business outlook report.
He said companies around the world were reassessing the North Sea’s potential.
Glendronach was discovered by Total in the West of Shetland in September, holding up to 175million barrels of oil equivalent and was, at the time, the largest UK find in a decade.
However, it was quickly overtaken by Cnooc’s Glengorm discovery in December with up to 250million barrels.
Mr Kirk said: “I think discoveries like Glengorm and Glendronach are really fantastic. They have turned heads.
“I have companies coming in that I never thought would be back exploring in the UK asking what are we doing and whether they can partner.
“They don’t need to be named but every company around the world is looking again at the exploration potential of the basin.”
The outlook report also highlighted that production is once again on the rise.
A total of 619million barrels of oil equivalent were produced last year, an increase of 20% on 2014, which Mr Kirk described as a “herculean feat”.
When looking at the overall potential of the region, Mr Kirk added that it is not just West of Shetland that holds the exciting real estate, as shown by the Glengorm find in the Central North Sea.
He added: “I think we should remember it’s not just the west of Shetland. Globally, people think West of Shetland is the frontier.
“There is a lot of unknown plays and unknown potential in the West of Shetland, but the biggest known potential is the Central North Sea.
“There’s still a lot of running room left in the UKCS.”