The EIA, Energy Information Administration of the United States has confirmed that the United Kingdom became a net oil importer in 2012. This means two things: a) That North Sea oil is running out and b) that the oil reserves of the United Kingdom are also in its final stage.
This fact alone would have been enough to cause an explosion of oil prices worldwide, because of an important source of production is virtually disappearing.
The key question is why this reality in the North Sea has not affected oil prices?
The answer is very simple: because the United States has announced that it has found a new production method, fracking, which offers unlimited quantities of oil and gas. For that reason, until now, the fall in North Sea production has not caused the chaos in price that in other circumstances this fact would generate.
The other key question that arises in a scenario as described is until where are true the figures on reserves and oil production by fracking?
The answer is: oil is the blood that moves the world economy and, therefore, the figures on production and reserves have a unique strategic nature which justifies the whole truth is not said or tells only part of the truth in this matter.
In the following links I present two papers published in this blog in 2008 and 2009 in which was announced the depletion of oil reserves in the UK, prediction now confirmed by the EIA.
This is the EIA Report on the UK oil depletion