Production hit in the early 2010s & impact on Brent pricesAlthough oil production in the United Kingdom has increased from a low seen in the mid-2010s, production output has generally declined within the past two decades. In the years between 2012 and 2015, figures fell below one million barrels per day as UK producers were left behind their U.S. competitors using unconventional methods such as horizontal drilling and fracking, flooding the market with cheap crude. Those years saw the average annual Brent crude oil price fall by over 50 U.S. dollars. Brent is the benchmark used for oil produced in the North Sea and one of the most referenced oil prices in the world.
As of March 2021, there were 50 UK enterprises in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas sector, with an annual turnover exceeding five million British pounds. The total number of businesses was 150.