Shetland’s hopes dashed

The Government cast doubt this week on the existence of a significant new oil province to the west of the Shetland Islands. The annual `brown book’ on the upstream oil and gas industry published on Monday indicated that the region may contain no more than 600 million barrels of undiscovered reserves, the equivalent of a […]

The Government cast doubt this week on the existence of a significant new oil province to the west of the Shetland Islands.

The annual `brown book’ on the upstream oil and gas industry published on Monday indicated that the region may contain no more than 600 million barrels of undiscovered reserves, the equivalent of a single large field.

The brown book cut its range of estimates to between 80 million and 720 million tonnes from last year’s estimate of 700 million-2.1 billion tonnes.

A spokesman at the Department of Trade and Industry said the drastic reduction reflected the way in which only a single new discovery had been made in the area in 1996 – BP’s Suilven field.