The oil industry exists in an environment of changing oil price and exchange rate, legislation, province maturity and technology. This paper examines the current and forthcoming changes in the North Sea and the response of BP Exploration to those changes.

The shorter life cycle of smaller fields, the variety of operations and the pace of change have rendered once successful strategies and approaches obsolete. Maintaining competitive advantage requires an understanding of the changing environment and managing successfully in this environment. Preparing to maintain competitive advantage requires questioning and letting go of what has been successful in order to meet the changing environment rather than always playing catch up.

This paper presents a framework for understanding the business we are in, its future challenges and presents a number of examples of activities being undertaken by the operating arm of BP Exploration in the North Sea to respond to and prepare for changes in what it takes to be successful in the North Sea.

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