The Government recently announced it will review its policy on the future UK offshore oil and gas licensing regime as part of the wider aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The review will ensure the Government has the information needed to plan for future oil and gas production in the UK, in a way that is aligned with tackling climate change. Initial findings and next steps will be published in the upcoming Energy White Paper.
Over half of the UK’s electricity comes from clean sources including wind and solar energy. However, oil and natural gas are still required for heating, cooking and transport, and vital to the production of many everyday essentials like medicines, plastics, cosmetics and household appliances. This is likely to remain the case over the coming decades as the UK transitions to low carbon solutions.
The independent Committee on Climate Change has recognised the ongoing demand for oil and natural gas, including it in all scenarios it proposed for how the UK meets its target for achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The oil and gas sector supports 270,000 jobs across the UK and plays a key role in developing the infrastructure and capability for green technologies such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen power. The oil and gas sector is also a major source of tax revenue for public services and has provided over £330 billion to the UK Government from production taxation alone in today’s prices.
The review comes as the Oil and Gas Authority announces the outcome of the 32nd licensing round for North Sea exploration. This is important for the country’s ongoing energy security and economy, while ensuring that much-needed supplies are maintained even as the UK cuts carbon emissions.
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