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Small players drive a revival in the North Sea

Norway and the UK showed increasing appeal for E&P firms in 2018, with M&A moves propelling investment into the North Sea—but Brexit was a concern for some in the UK side of the play

Western Europe's offshore sector proved something of a magnet for E&P in 2018. According to a recent report from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the 10 wildcat wells drilled during first-half 2018 already have found more new crude—a median estimate of 330mn boe—offshore Norway than was found by 24 wildcats during all of 2017. A wave of mergers and asset consolidations firmed up investment prospects for an offshore sector eager to stem future production declines. In October, Gazprom abandoned plans to swap assets with Austria's OMV, who agreed to buy a 24.98pc stake in the 4A and 5A phases at Achimov for an undisclosed cash sum. Norway's energy ministry had expressed reservati

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