North Sea relief

Miliband denies ordering ban on oil & gas licences

Ed Miliband (DB Media Services)
Ed Miliband: denied report (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Energy Security Ed Miliband’s department has denied a report that he had ordered an immediate ban on the North Sea oil regulator from issuing new drilling and exploration licences.

Officials described an article in The Daily Telegraph as “a complete fabrication”. It had claimed that the minister had stopped the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) from approving a new round of drilling that had been expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Mr Miliband’s department said the article “invents meetings and decisions that have not taken place.”

It added: “We are working with the North Sea Transition Authority to ensure a fair and balanced transition in the North Sea.”

A spokeswoman added that nothing had changed from the position set out in Labour’s manifesto ahead of the election.

The Energy Security and Net Zero department’s denial will be a relief to those in the oil and gas sector who were concerned by what appeared to be an acceleration of plans to wind down the industry.

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