A world class, but mature, prolific petroleum system, the North Sea is sending mixed signals. Authority estimates1 for the Yet-to-Find (YTF) of the UK and Norwegian North Sea are in the order of an encouraging 8.6 Bboe recoverable, split approximately evenly between the two countries. At the same time the industry has discovered2 an average of 150 mmboe recoverable per year over the last five years, with about twice as much being discovered in Norway compared to the UK. These mixed signals raise questions about the future of the North Sea. Is the YTF potential representative of the future potential? Is the North Sea an attractive place to explore? Why is industry finding the YTF so slowly? Why does Statoil continue to explore in the North Sea?


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  1. UK Oil and Gas Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
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  2. Wood Mackenzie and Hannon & Westwood
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