North Sea upstream: 2023 in review

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With sky-high prices in the past, and recently introduced windfall taxes in effect, company cash flows across the North Sea were dented in 2023. But unlike up-cycles of the past, capital discipline remains, despite soaring inflation and supply chain squeezes. With the focus still on energy security in Europe, North Sea producers stepped up supply through new fields and phased developments. Heavy maintenance in Norway and natural field declines weighed on gas output to the continent. Liquids output rose, thanks to the second phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup oil field in Norway. As global M&A soared to new highs in 2023, the North Sea remained a key province for deal flow. Harbour Energy's US$11 bn reverse takeover of Wintershall DEA combines UK and Norwegian scale to produce a top European E&P. We look back at the highlights of 2023 across the UK, Norway and Denmark, including production, investment, project FIDs, M&A, regulation, decarbonisation, and exploration.

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