The commercial extraction of oil in the North Sea dates back more than 100 years to when James Young retorted oil from a variety of fine-grained black oil shale, torbanite, mined in the Midland Valley of Scotland. Just eight years later and oil was found in the Wietze field near Hanover in Germany, which incidentally led to the discovery of 70 more fields – producing a combined total of an estimated 8,400 barrels per day.
Fast forward a century to the present year and the North Sea remains the world’s most active offshore drilling region with 173 active drilling rigs. Discovered in 2010, the Johan Sverdrup Oil Field holds the title for the largest field found in the past five years on the NCS. With production planned for 2018, the field’s total reserves are estimated at 1.7 to 3.3 billion barrels of gross recoverable oil, producing up to 200,000 barrels of oil per day.
And playing an equally vital role to the future European energy system, offshore wind energy continues to feature heavily here at Total World Energy as one of the most stable sources of renewable energy – one that is expected to grow to 23.5GW by 2020, tripling its current installed capacity.
Located off the coast of Yorkshire in the UK, the Humber Gateway wind farm project began generating electricity in June this year, two months ahead of schedule, it is set to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 170,000 homes; crucial not only for the surrounding areas which will benefit but for the future of the UK energy supply market too.
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