Shell approves second North Sea project in six months


Shell has approved its second North Sea project within six months, after no new activity there for more than five years, Bloomberg news service said on Tuesday.

Shell and partner ExxonMobil plan to develop the Fram field, previously regarded as only marginal, by 2020. The two energy majors developed the huge Groningen gas field in the northern Netherlands which is now slated for closure.

‘Deep cost cuts following crude’s decline and connecting smaller oil and gas pools to bigger projects are allowing Shell and other drillers to squeeze more out of an ageing North Sea, Bloomberg said.

‘When your back’s to the wall, you’ve got to respond,’ Steve Phimister, head of Shell’s UK exploration and production unit, said in an interview.  Shell may take several more investment decisions in the North Sea this year because of the improved economics, Phimister said.

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