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New report

Oil and gas seeks support in transition to green energy

Brent Oil field

Oil and gas has a key role in the green recovery says the report

A new report on the oil and gas sector has shown that carbon emissions have fallen at twice the global rate and that the industry can play a big part in the transition to a green economy.

Oil and gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie said the government should draw on the expertise in the sector to achieve its goals as 85% of its members seek to diversify into non-oil and gas activities over the next two years.

The organisation’s Economic Report revealed that the UK’s carbon emissions fell by an estimated 10.3% this year, compared to a global reduction of 5.5%.

“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, she said.

“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.”

The Economic Report highlights the potential for the oil and gas supply chain to support the development and implementation of technologies such as hydrogen fuel production and carbon, capture, storage and usage.

Ms Michie added: “Our Economic Report 2020 shows that oil and gas produced in the UK will continue to support energy security in the decades to come, but as part of a changing and cleaner energy mix.

“With the right support, this industry can truly come of age and continue to make a positive contribution in this new energy landscape.

“However, our report makes clear that reaching this positive future will require working in the here and now to protect the jobs and companies needed to bring our climate ambitions to life.

“OGUK continue to work closely with the UK Government on proposals for a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which will help unlock the full contribution the industry can make to achieving net-zero and the wider economic benefits.”

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The report Oil and Gas UK noted that only six exploration wells have been drilled in the UK North Sea this year “representing record-low activity in the basin”.

The organisation’s market intelligence manager Ross Dornan said: “We are going to see the effects of the pandemic, the consequences of low oil and gas prices endure for some time. 2021 will still be a challenging year for the industry.”

“It’s not going to be a case of just moving activity and investment that might have been planned for 2020 directly into 2021.”

Deirdre Michie

Deirdre Michie: expertise should be used

He said it might take up to three years to reposition some of the activity that had been planned.

The Government is due to publish an energy White Paper.

Graham Hollis, Office Senior Partner for Deloitte in Aberdeen, said: “Today’s report is evidence of the strength and expertise embedded in the UK oil and gas industry and the unique opportunity the sector has to lead the global drive towards a lower-carbon future. 

“Combating demand and price shocks and navigating the impact of the pandemic has shown the resilience of the sector, led by forward thinking companies who are quick to explore innovative technologies so that they can survive the crisis and thrive in the future.

“As the Economic Report shows, the sector has a pivotal role to play in the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery and companies must work collaboratively to ensure opportunities for investment in net-zero technologies are maximised.

“Achieving the UK’s climate change ambitions won’t be easy, however there is a clear pathway forward. While the scope for job creation is huge, it is crucial companies are supported to utilise the skills and expertise already present within the sector. Doing so is fundamental to ensuring the UK’s smooth transition to a lower-carbon future.”

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