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Oil supplement: Fate of the North Sea

North Sea oil that is not extracted within the next 10 years is likely to be left stranded

By Paul Stevens   February 2015

By January, the price of oil had fallen to $52 per barrel and in the course of January it fell below the $50 mark. In November when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) gave up any semblance of controlling oil markets, the price had been $75. In mid-June it had been $107. Furthermore, because the price is set in a competitive market, prices are likely to fall further. If the oil price falls below the point at which it is economical for companies to extract it, supply is immediately constrained as producers reduce their production. Other things being…

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