Energy report urges UK to go Dutch in its Southern North Sea exploration

05:30 25 February 2014

Sir Ian Wood former chairman of the Wood Group

Sir Ian Wood former chairman of the Wood Group


East Anglia’s energy sector must learn from the Dutch if its to make the most of the remaining Southern North Sea (SNS) gas reserves, the Wood Review has found.

Former oil industry boss Sir Ian Wood said the UK was trailing behind the Netherlands when it came to extracting gas despite having more reserves to draw from.

The Dutch government’s investment in infrastructure, its close regulation and the open approach its takes to sharing information had prevented disputes and aided production across the SNS region, the Wood Report claimed.

It came as Sir Ian used the findings to press for a new regulator of the UK oil and gas industry, which he advised to create regional plans for key areas to boost exploration and future development.

But he made it clear that while SNS gas production had a strong future, it needed fresh investment in infrastructure to maximise extraction and prevent gas plants being decommissioned too early.

Simon Gray, chief executive of the East of England Energy Group, said Sir Ian’s recommendations could lead to a renaissance of gas production in the SNS.

“I am very excited by the report and it’s great to see sir Ian has tackled so many key issues and encouraged urgent action,” he said.

“Although investment in the SNS has been up in the last few years, gas production is down.

“Because prices and the tax regime favour oil production rather than gas, sir Ian recognised that it could mean significant premature decommissioning of gas infrastructure and a lost chance to extract much of the remaining reserves.

“To tackle that issue would mean continued exploration and production of the gas fields off our coast and the extension of the business for at least another 20-30 years.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24


  • Just for clarification - EEEGr is not a quango. It is a body set up and majorly funded by energy related businesses (many of the energy majors) in East Anglia through annual subscription. It's board is composed of executive-level industry professionals and it was a major driver in promoting and delivering the new engineering apprenticeships.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Toxic, I wouldn't bother. He's been told before. I'm guessing our troll friend once threw his hat in the ring to be on the EEEGr Board, but for reasons I can only guess at, he was overlooked.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • "Former oil industry boss" - says it all really! I can recall when Sir Ian left Great Yarmouth back in the '90's when he sold off AHT and closed his Wood Group operations on East Quay.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Which just goes to show, that round here the quango'ites only got their job through who they are related to, 'you scratch my back and ill scratch yours' or the old school boys network. COME AND JOIN THE LOCAL LEP OR EEEGR. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists


There are many things which can keep business owners awake at night – but finding ways of paying more tax is not likely to be one of them.

The past year will be remembered for economic uncertainty, but it was a good time for entrepreneurs, writes Barclays’ Simon Smith.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter