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BP near-field exploration in the Southern North Sea
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Does the UK North Sea have a ‘majors’ problem?

Three of the basin’s largest players insist it is core. But it is hard to conclude that BP’s and Shell’s positions are fully optimised

The UK continental shelf (UKCS) is one of Shell’s nine core global upstream areas and one of BP’s eight. TotalEnergies has also told Petroleum Economist that it considers the UKCS to be core. But, on the basis of recent second-quarter results, the interest of the firms and the equity analysts that cover them in discussing the province and the majors’ future strategy in them is relatively small. “At the end of the day, all we are trying to do is create the highest value oil and gas portfolio that we can,” BP CEO Bernard Looney baldly told the firm’s Q2 results analyst call. In the light of this, should his firm and Shell consider something more radical in their UKCS approach? It makes some

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