Happy Environment Day, story number three. The record oil price could cause a second oil boom in the North Sea. The popular view is that the UK’s share of the North Sea is in decline, with energy reserves diminishing rapidly about 35 years after the oilfields were first exploited.

However, there is a growing body of opinion that suggests that proven oil reserves have been underestimated consistently.

Since the discovery of oil in the North Sea, the equivalent of 37billion barrels of oil have been extracted from the UK Continental Shelf, leaving up to 25.5billion barrels still to be recovered. However, industry experts believe that the remaining reserves exceed current estimates by as much as a fifth.

Alex Kemp, Professor of petroleum economics at Aberdeen University, said: ”We’ve produced, since day one, 37 billion barrels of oil. The remaining reserves on central estimates could be 20-22 billion barrels equivalent and on optimistic estimates could be over 30. So there still is a substantial amount left.”

Happy days for the oilmen, a bad day for the climate..