European Union oil production, almost all from the North Sea, began to
in 2000. This decline will continue despite new initiatives to promote
exploitation of smaller fields offshore the UK. The onshore oil
production areas of Europe are near exhaustion.
Gas production was flat from 1980 to 1990, but rose in the 1990s as the
UK expanded its output and as new members joined. However it is now
declining everywhere and this trend is expected to continue.
Union is forecasting declining oil demand as environmental legislation
begins to have an effect on transport and power policy, and as fuel
acquisition of a reliable long term gas supply is a challenge for
European Union members whilst indigenous gas supplies decline. Imports
from North Africa, the Middle East and, eventually, by pipeline from
Central Asia will all expand as the region looks to increase its options
away from too much reliance on Russian piped gas.