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New pledge by sector

Oil and gas industry aims to halve emissions by 2030

Brent oil field

Big changes planned for oil and gas sector

The oil and gas sector aims to halve emissions from production and exploration by 2030 as it aims to reach net-zero by the middle of the century.

The industry is responsible for about 4% of UK emissions, though that does not include the consumption of oil and gas.

About half a million tonnes will still be allowed by 2050 for “emergency flaring”, but these will be offset by other sectors such as forestry.

Oil & Gas UK also acknowledged that between half and two thirds of emissions cuts in the next 10 years would come from fields ceasing production.

Platforms will be electrified either through connections to the land or locally-generated renewables.

A new report sets out how changes to operations are needed, as well as reductions in flaring – the controlled burning of gases – and “major capital investment programmes to decarbonise production operations”.

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, said the “challenging targets” have been developed after “detailed assessment of the measures needed to deliver them”.

The industry said it recognised that emissions associated with the use of oil and gas were much greater than those from the production process.

However, it insisted that ending production early would only result in oil and gas being imported with even higher emissions.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish energy minister, said OGUK’s target was a “significant step” in Scotland’s push towards net-zero by 2045.

The Scottish Government on Friday pledged a £62 million fund to help oil and gas firms support the transition to low carbon and has launched an energy transition zone.

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