The UK Government is to review its policy on the future offshore oil and gas licensing regime as part of its wider aim of delivering net zero emissions across the entire economy by 2050.
The review looks to ensure the government has the necessary information available to plan for continued oil and gas production in a manner “aligned with tackling climate change”.
Oil and natural gas are resources that the government notes will still be required for heating, cooking and transport, in addition to being used in the production of medicines, plastics, cosmetics and household appliances – the oil and gas sector is currently home to 270,000 jobs in the country.
Firms within the industry claim they will play a key role in developing the infrastructure and capability for green technologies such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen power.
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Over half of our electricity now comes from low-carbon sources, power from coal is at an all-time low, and we have more installed offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world.
“While we have decarbonised our economy faster than any other major country over the past two decades, the oil and gas sector will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future as we move toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Our review into future oil and gas licensing rounds will ensure we are able to meet our net zero target, while protecting jobs across the country as part of our plan to build back better with a greener, cleaner economy.”