Environment The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

Dana resists pressure to start serious sale talks with Koreans

Dana Petroleum rejected calls to step up talks with Korean National Oil Corporation as it came under pressure from investors over a 1,800p-a-share approach from the state-owned company.

Investors query Fairfield listing

Institutional investors have started to shun next week's $500m London listing of Fairfield Energy, the North Sea oil explorer and producer, due to fears over a loan and future liabilities.

Oil explorers rush to North Sea as price rises fuel drilling boom

When Sarah Palin, the former US vice-presidential candidate, told the oil companies to "drill, baby, drill" it is unlikely that she had the North Sea in mind. But research published yesterday suggests exploration companies are flocking to the area, taking advantage of stable oil prices and promising to fill Britain's empty coffers.

Interest in North Sea exploration booms

As BP struggles in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, interest is booming closer to home with an unprecedented response to the latest North Sea licensing round.

New oil field 'one of region's largest finds'

An oil find in the UK North Sea has the potential to be one of the region's biggest discoveries of recent years, an exploration firm said today.

Steve Robertson: The Shetlands are all we've got left to exploit

Development west of Shetland represents a significant investment for the companies involved – including Total, Chevron and BP – and is worth billions of pounds to them. However, it is relatively minor in the general scheme of things.

Inspections of North Sea oil rigs to double

The Government will increase its inspection of North Sea drilling rigs in the wake of the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) announced today.

Britain's offshore renewable energy worth a billion barrels of oil and 145,000 new jobs

The offshore renewable energy industry could generate the same amount of electricity a year by 2050 as one billion barrels of oil, using less than a third of the available space, according to a new report.

Leading article: An encouraging tale from the North Sea

For many of us, North Sea cod has been the most vivid illustration of the collapse of global fish stocks.

Last poll is first major test for coalition

The delayed General Election poll at Thirsk and Malton provides an early opportunity for voters to give their verdict on the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

SSE buys North Sea gas assets

Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) is buying North Sea gas assets from New York-based Hess for $423m (£278m) in cash.

Total invests in North Sea oil field once viewed as too costly

Total is investing £2.5bn to develop entirely the Laggan and Tormore gas fields in the deep North Sea, more than 80 miles West of Shetland.

Oil and gas exploration falls to lowest level in five years

Harsh taxes are stunting activity in the UK's North Sea, but in Norway it is booming

James Moore: North Sea oil in need of consolidation

Outlook More evidence for those arguing that it's time to cut the burden of tax on companies seeking to exploit the sizeable reservoir of oil that still remains in the North Sea. Deloitte says production in our part is down by 35 per cent this year. Bad enough, you might think, but when compared to the 18 per cent rise from Norwegian territorial waters it is appalling.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there