Oil increase won't lower fuel prices
* Energy Minister's warning * North Sea production rising * High prices here to stay...
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has warned that increased oil production in the North Sea will have no impact on fuel prices.
That's despite Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday meeting with oil company bosses in a bid to encourage them to increase production to drive prices down.
Oil production will start at two new fields - West Don and Don South West. The areas are expected to start operating in the first half of next year with an estimated production rate of up to 50,000 barrels of oil a day at their peak and a total output of 50 million barrels.
Plans were also unveiled for new oil and gas fields to be carved out of unprofitable parts of around 30 existing sites, which could result in additional daily production of 20,000 barrels of oil.
Prime Minister Brown also warned that high oil prices are here to stay, and called on nations to unite to stabilise the price of oil, which has increased from $10 a barrel a decade ago to $135 today.
Brown said that he would spearhead plans to formulate a global strategy to tackle the impact of higher oil prices at the next meeting of the G8 group of industrialised countries.