Oil & Gas Reserves
UK reserves estimated at 3bn tonnes
Oil reserves (million tonnes)
Total UK oil reserves were estimated to total up to 3.0 billion tonnes at the end of 2004. Of these only 0.5 billion tonnes were proven. The total includes an estimate of between 0.4 and 1.8 billion tonnes of resources which have yet to be discovered, but which may exist in areas of the UK continental shelf.
Levels of oil extraction amounted to 95 million tonnes in 2004, the lowest since 1992. Estimates of the life expectancy of remaining UK oil reserves are therefore uncertain, but they do show an overall decline between 1994 and 2004 (as would be expected given the extraction of reserves over the period). Between 2003 and 2004, the life expectancy of oil reserves increased from 11 to 12 years. However, this is a result of lower extraction rates rather than new discoveries.
Estimates of gas reserves totalled up to 2415 billion cubic metres at the end of 2004; down slightly from 2500 billion cubic metres in 2003. Proven reserves amounted to 531 billion cubic metres in 2004. Levels of gas extraction were 95 billion cubic metres in 2004, the lowest since 1998. The life expectancy of gas reserves also shows an overall decline over the period, by the end of 2004 they stood at approximately 12 years at current rates of extraction.
Source: Office for National Statistics, Department for Trade and Industry (DTI)
Notes: Oil reserves include both oil and the liquids and liquefied products obtained from gas fields, gas-condensate fields and from the associated gas in oil fields. Gas reserves are the quantity of gas expected to be available for sale from dry gas fields, gas-condensate fields and oil fields with associated gas. Gas which is expected to be flared or used offshore is not included.
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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