The North Sea and surrounding regions have been associated with oil exploration from as early as 1859. It really began gaining importance around 1973, when the oil crisis stimulated many companies to put in the massive investment necessary for oil extraction. It is a region associated with high production cost. However thanks to its proximity to most European countries and their political stability, it continues to be a profitable region for offshore drilling. It has also become one of the world’s most prominent non-OPEC oil producing regions.