UK’s net zero at risk as majority of offshore firms cut North Sea investment

Political uncertainty and windfall taxes are driving away necessary investments to maintain North Sea oil and gas production, a report has warned

The North Sea’s ability to power the UK for decades is in jeopardy due to high windfall taxes and political instability, according to a report by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK).

Nine out of ten North Sea operators have reduced their investments in oil and gas production due to the windfall taxes imposed on them, which have increased their overall tax rate from 40% to 75%.

The report suggests that a lack of investment could lead to a 15% reduction in overall production by 2030, with output in ten years potentially 80% lower than current levels.

This would have serious implications for the UK’s energy security and economic prosperity, the OEUK has said.

Additionally, UK oil and gas output is currently shrinking and the report links the country’s lack of progress in reaching its 2050 net zero target to long-term political inertia over cutting demand for oil and gas.

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