UK oil reserves were valued at £63.4 billion at the end of 2004. This is an increase of 22.9 per cent since 2003, when the value of reserves stood at £51.6 billion. Since 1994 the nominal value of oil reserves more than doubled from £28.5 billion.
The large year on year change in the value of the UK’s oil reserves is mainly due to significant increases in the price of North Sea oil. North Sea oil prices rose 77.2 per cent from the end of 2003 to the end of 2004.
UK gas reserves were estimated to be worth £46.4 billion in 2004, down from £47.3 billion in 2003, representing a year on year decrease of 1.9 per cent. Since 1994 the nominal value of gas reserves has almost trebled from £17.6 billion.
Source: Office for National Statistics, Department for Trade and Industry (DTI)
Notes: The value of the UK's recoverable oil and gas reserves mainly depends upon the estimated physical amounts remaining (the total of proven, probable and lower estimates of undiscovered resources). Also, important to the calculations are the current rate of extraction and the assumed future price per unit of oil or gas, net of the cost of extraction.
Expressing UK oil and gas reserves in monetary terms allows these subsoil assets to be compared with other economic entities. This provides a means for the commercial depletion of subsoil assets to be set against national income.
Environmental accounts provides data on the environmental impact of UK economic activity and the use of the environment by the economy.
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