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Key Dates in UK Offshore Oil & Gas Production

1964 First licences granted offshore UK
    First well in UK sector by Texaco/Chevron, in block 38/29
1965 First gas field discovered by BP at West Sole
1967 First North Sea gas field - West Sole - started production
1969 First oil found in UK waters by Amoco - Arbroath field
1973 U.K.OFFSHORE OPERATORS ASSOCIATION LIMITED (UKOOA) , incorporated on 25 June as a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital.
1975 Argyll oil field operated by Hamilton Bros started production in June - first UK offshore oil
    First concrete platform installed on Beryl by Mobil
    The one-thousandth well drilled in UK waters
1977 Oil found in block 206/8 by BP - the first West of Shetlands discovery (Clair field)
    First Norwegian gas delivered from the Frigg field to St Fergus in the North East of Scotland.
1978 UK North Sea production tops one million barrels of oil per day for the first time
    First production platform removed - from West Sole field
1980 Price of oil peaks at $40 per barrel - equivalent to $80 in 2004 money
1981 UK oil production exceeded consumption
1985 Oil production reached a new record at 127.5 million tonnes, (including NGLs)
1986 Oil prices crash to under $10 per barrel.
1988 The Piper Alpha tragedy on 6 July
1989 Twenty-five years since the First Offshore Licensing Round
1991 One hundred fields in production in the UK
1992 First out-of-round offshore awards
1994 Record number of fields (33) received development authority including Foinaven, the first oilfield to be developed to the West of Shetlands
1995 Exports of UKCS gas to Ireland commences.
1996 Development well activity reached new record with 261 wells being commenced
1997 Record number of offshore fields (186) were in production at the end of 1997; 98 Oil, 75 Gas and 13 Condensate
    Combined offshore oil and gas production reached new record of 203.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent
    The discharge of oil contaminated drill cuttings effectively ceased with effect from 1 January 1997
1998 Number of offshore fields now 204.  The UK-Belgium gas interconnector opens, joining the British and continental markets together for the first time and allowing both gas exports to and, at times of peak demand, imports from mainland Europe.
    UKOOA celebrates its first twenty-five years.
    25 years of the Brown Book 1993 - 1998
    Average price for Brent Crude slumped to $12.78 per barrel.
    59 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled.
    Combined offshore oil and gas production reached 220 million tonnes of oil equivalent.
1999 Government publishes "A Template for Change" a joint report with the industry about the future of oil and gas exploration and production on the UKCS. 
    Oil price fell to $9.83 per barrel in February, with prices averaging $17.88 over the year
    Oil and gas production peaked at a record 125 million tonnes of oil and 105 billion cubic metres of gas.
    31 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled.
2000 Oil and gas from UKCS provides 85% of UK's primary energy needs.  Total production is equivalent to the UK's entire energy needs.
    PILOT is launched, with representatives from Government, operators, contractors, suppliers and the unions.
    Total UKCS gas production continued to rise to 115 billion cubic metres, while oil production declined to 115 million tonnes
2001 It is estimated that only half the recoverable reserves from the UKCS have been produced, with the second, but more difficult half to come.
    Pan-Canadian Petroleum (now Encana) discovered the Buzzard field, at 500 million boe, the largest discovery for 10 years (average discoveries in recent years only 25 - 30 million boe).
    DTI approved 21 new field development projects.
    Publication of "Striking a Balance", the UK oil and gas industry's first sectoral Sustainability Strategy.
2002 Since 1964, total investment in the UKCS has exceeded 200 billion and total tax paid by upstream oil and gas companies reached 190 billion (in 2002 money).
    Industry hit by 10 per cent supplementary Corporation Tax rate in April Budget.
    The DTI introduces the "Fallow Initiative" and "Promote License" to stimulate activity in the UKCS.
    16 exploration wells were drilled and 4 significant new discoveries announced.  18 projects received development approval.
2003 UKOOA celebrates its first thirty years.
    The UK is ranked 7th largest producer of oil and gas in the world, and was largest single industry investing in the industrial sector of the UK economy (8.6 billion).
    21st Licensing Round saw 27 new entrants into the UKCS and included the award of 53 Promote Licenses, introduced for the first time to encourage new players in exploration.
    Petroleum Revenue Tax was removed from new tariff business on UKCS.
    The UK and Norwegian Governments agreed on key terms for a Treaty governing cross-border co-operation between the two countries.
2004 Oil prices reach $50 per barrel.  63 exploration wells drilled, the highest number since 1998.  Four companies acquired their first commercial interest int he UK and 15 new companies were offered acreage as part of the 22nd Offshore Licensing Round.  Frontier licences covering areas of the Atlantic Margin offered for the first time.  A new Code of Practice on Access to UKCS Upstream Oil and Gas Infrastructure agreed.

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