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North Sea Oil Is Learning From America’s Shale Boom

  • Companies are cutting development time with smaller projects
  • Using existing infrastructure is key to returns in aging basin
Norway oil

Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg

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The U.S. oil boom changed the petroleum industry forever. Now its philosophy is being adopted by conventional producers in the North Sea.

Motivated by lower crude prices and higher volatility, many companies are favoring smaller and nimbler investments known as “short-cycle projects.” That term -- first coined in American shale fields -- is now being applied in Europe’s oil heartland as investors demand quick and efficient returns, short development times and low production costs.