The energy sector of the UK is comprised of oil and gas industry, petroleum, coal, nuclear power and renewable energies; however, the oil and gas industry is one of the leading players of the energy sector. The energy industry itself is a major contributor to the economy of the UK. Over 5% of the UK GDP in 2007 came from this sector. It also accounted for about 43% of industrial investment in the UK.
The UK oil and gas extraction industry is also commonly known as Upstream. The industry encompasses all processes pertaining to exploration, extraction, processing and distributing. The industry produces nearly 2 million barrels of petroleum products everyday. Approximately, 20- 25 million barrels of oil remain to be extracted. The extraction and processing of this oil is going to be more expensive than previous ones due to the current economic situation and other factors. Thus, new technology is being employed to bring down the cost of extracting and producing oil and natural gas. 17 new fields were brought online in the year 2008 and 20 more are expected to come up in the next two years.
For many years, the oil and gas industry of the UK was mainly concentrated in the North Sea region. Today, the hub of the industry is situated in Aberdeen, Scotland. Liverpool, Norfolk and Morecambe Bay are also important centers of this industry. The UK is the second largest producer of oil and gas in Europe (after Norway) thanks to the abundant natural resources located here. The industry employs approximately 140,000 people and accounts for about 5% of the total industrial employment. Nearly 260,000 people are employed in support services of gas extraction and offshore oil drilling. Other than the producers, another important constituent of this sector are the suppliers. The supply chain has seen major investment in recent years. This arm of the industry alone accounted for tax revenues of nearly 5 to 6 billion pounds in 2008.
The oil and gas industry of the UK has been self-reliant since 1980 for oil and is expected to be so until at least 2016. The gas could last well until the end of this century. The petroleum industry comprises of over 200 companies that are involved in refining and distributing gas and petroleum products to companies and super markets.
The offshore oil and gas industry of the UK is responsible for supply of nearly 75% of the UK's energy needs. Over 150 billion pounds have been invested in the sector in the last quarter of the century. The industry has paid an astronomical 150 billion pounds in taxes since 1970s. The main markets of the UK oil and gas industry are Brazil, India, China, Mexico and Russia.
For those looking to invest in the lucrative oil and gas industry of the UK, the various sectors available are drilling and downhole technology, enhanced recovery, exploration, education and training, health and safety, pipeline integrity and research and development.