Offshore oil and gas fields could provide energy suppliers with energy for ten more years, experts have predicted.
According to industry trade body Oil & Gas UK, North Sea oil and gas could still be delivering 1.5 million barrels a day by 2020, which is enough to satisfy more than a third of the UK's cheap energy demand.
However, without additional investment, production from mature fields will drop to half a million barrels a day by the end of the decade, representing just 11 per cent of the country's cheap energy demand.
Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, said the company's new survey has identified a number of investments which, if secured, will improve efficiency and reduce costs.
"As recently noted by several government ministers, the UK's oil and gas industry is a huge asset to this country," he said. "It not only makes a major contribution to the economy but can also help secure energy supplies for decades to come."
Figures from Oil & Gas UK reveal that the UK produced 2.48 million barrels of oil and gas a day in 2009, down six per cent on 2008.
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