“North Sea oil and gas production is still vital”

Oil and Gas Authority Chairman said North Sea exploration can ensure a successful energy transition to net zero

Pathway to COP26 report

The Oil and Gas Authority Chairman has said that exploration and production of oil and gas in the North Sea is still vital to help the UK meet its energy needs.

Speaking at a conference in London, Tim Eggar noted that oil and gas currently provide around three-quarters of total UK energy consumption.

He added: “All forecasts, including the independent Climate Change Committee point to them being required for heat, power and transportation for the foreseeable future.

“If we need to be reminded of their importance to daily life, we only have to look back a matter of weeks, when we saw long queues at petrol stations and a gas crisis which brought the prospect of higher gas bills for millions of consumers. Security of supply is back in vogue – not before time.

“Our own analyses show domestic gas production has less than half the carbon footprint of imported liquefied natural gas”

Mr Eggar also said it does not make sense for the UK to be more reliant than it needs to be on imports, especially from countries with vague or no climate targets.

On Monday, trade body OGUK said that blocking proposed oil and gas fields would risk leaving consumers more exposed to soaring energy bills and fuel shortages.

While the COP26 was taking place in Glasgow, the Climate change think tank E3G urged the government to replace the OGA with a Clean Energy Authority.

A few days later, Wales pledged to stop licensed oil and gas production as part of its membership in a new global alliance of countries pledging to phase out fossil fuels to fight climate change.

That followed Nicola Sturgeon’s statement that the UK should not give green light to the proposed Cambo oil field.

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