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For the United Kingdom the North Sea is a vital national asset. Mid-December 2012 saw a £1 billion project for the development of two oil fields in the North Sea being given the go-ahead.
The project, which follows government tax measures designed to support increased oil company investment in the North Sea, will develop the Harris and Barra oilfields in the Northern North Sea – 160km east of the Shetland Islands and 12km west of the mature Tern field – and comprises a nine-well development with estimated recoverable reserves of more than 45 million barrels.
Oil and gas production supports a third of a million UK jobs, and these, and other, tax measures are expected to generate billions in new investment and create yet more jobs. In related developments the United Kingdom Government has very recently granted a range of new licenses for North Sea drilling rights, awards which follow on the back of announcements to the effect that proven and probable reserves are 5 per cent more than previously thought, at 788 million tonnes.
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