As much as £330 billion ($426 billion) could be spent on oil and gas extraction in the North Sea by 2050, according to research published Wednesday.
The report by Aberdeen University also upped forecasts for energy production in the region off Scotland's coast, estimating that up to 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent could be extracted between 2018 and 2050.
The study applied financial simulations to create a model for the oil industry over the next three decades, assuming different market prices to justify different levels of extraction.
At $70 per barrel and 60 pence per therm, oil and gas recovery was projected to exceed 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent by 2050. However, researchers noted that cost inflation was a greater danger at this price and could "endanger the economic viability of some projects."
The researchers said at $70 per barrel, almost £330 billion ($426 billion) would be spent on extracting oil from offshore fields.
At $60 a barrel, those extraction and operating costs lessened to £272 billion, generating cumulative production to 2050 of 14.8 billion barrels.
By 2014, an estimated 40 billion barrels of oil had been extracted from the North Sea.