The UK sector of the North Sea will feel the brunt of the £83m cut in exploration expenditure announced by Enterprise Oil last week.
The operator said it would reduce spending on exploration and appraisal drilling in 1999 to £90m, compared to £173m last year.
‘The UK will feel the biggest impact,’ a spokesman confirmed. He said the company would participate in only three wells in the UK sector this year against ten in 1998.
Capital expenditure on developments will also fall from £615m to around £470m, but this was said to be due to the completion of projects last year rather than deliberate cuts.