Shell’s North Sea boss yesterday warned industry against becoming “overconfident” with Brent crude prices hovering around $70 per barrel.
Steve Phimister, Shell’s vice president for upstream, UK and Ireland, said the sector still had “work to do” as it tries to steer its way out of the downturn.
Mr Phimister was speaking after Shell revealed it had taken a final investment decision on the Penguins area, north-east of Shetland.
The oil sector was given a boost last week when the price of Brent crude briefly went above $70 for the first time since the early days of the down-cycle.
But Mr Phimister said companies and investors should “not get overconfident” about the oil price.
He said: “North Sea industry has done great work to improve competitiveness. We know we have to compete against other basins.
“We’ve got more to do to bring in investment and we must stay the course.
“We do not want to go back to the days of boom and bust.”
Mr Phimister also said Shell was committed to investing in the basin having “reset” its portfolio in the last couple of years.
He said Shell would keep working to drive down costs and show that it is “the right owner” of its current portfolio.
Chief executive Ben van Beurden previously said the firm had no plans for a North Sea “retreat”.
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