Oil and gas produced in the UK will continue to support the country’s energy security in decades to come.
That’s the suggestion from Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), which says the fossil fuels will continue to be used as part of a “changing and cleaner energy mix”.
In a new report, the trade body calls on the government to help “unlock the full contribution the industry can make to achieving net-zero and the wider economic benefits” and enable the industry to “come of age and continue to make a positive contribution in this new energy landscape”.
It urges policymakers to ensure work begins now to protect jobs and businesses across the sector, which it says are “needed to bring our climate ambitions to life” and to allow the UK to build a homegrown transition towards a clean energy future.
It also notes that 85% of OGUK members say they expect to step up the rate at which they are diversifying into non-oil and gas activities during the next two years due to current market conditions.
In its history, the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) has already yielded more than 46 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) – the Oil and Gas Association (OGA) estimates there are as much as 20 billion boe remaining to be recovered, despite claims from climate activists and scientists that further oil and gas exploration could jeopardise the mission to tackle climate change.
OGUK’s Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said: “Today’s report highlights that we have a unique opportunity for the transition towards a lower-carbon future to be homegrown in this country and potentially exported across the world.
“2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for the oil and gas supply chain as it faced both the well-documented impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent decline in demand for energy.
“Utilising the expert technical knowledge that exists within the substantial UK oil and gas supply chain is fundamental if we are to evolve toward a lower-carbon future.”