OGUK Welcomes Govt Review of Offshore Licensing
The Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) association has said it welcomes the government's review of oil and gas licensing rounds, saying it provides an opportunity to assess how the sector is changing to meet climate goals while ensuring continued UK energy security.
The government announced on September 3 it would review licensing to ensure that plans for future oil and gas production are in line with efforts to tackle climate change. The UK has set a binding target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
"This review is an opportunity to shine a light on how our industry is changing. With commitments to halve emissions in the next decade and committed investment in exciting low carbon solutions, the changing UK oil and gas industry is stepping up to the climate change challenge," OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie said. "Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have not stopped working, and our people have continued to work in difficult circumstances to meet as much of the UK’s oil and gas needs from domestic resources. The reality is that oil and gas will continue to be part of a diverse energy mix for years to come."
OGUK has called for a "constructive and open conversation" about how an oil and gas producing country could transition fairly to a lower carbon future.
"Working with governments, regulators and through sensible debate, we can protect jobs and affordability while being ultimately accountable for the emissions associated with the oil and gas we use," Michie said.
The government has likewise acknowledged that oil and gas production will still be needed for the foreseeable future, and the independent Committee on Climate Change too has recognised that hydrocarbon demand will continue in any scenario that sees the UK meet its net-zero target.
The UK oil and gas industry is working with the government on a North Sea transition deal, aimed at developing cleaner energy solutions including carbon capture and storage and hydrogen.
A year ago OGUK published its Roadmap 2035 strategy, which identified more than 60 actions needed to support a fair and managed transition to net zero emissions. In a statement on September 1, the association said a number of actions had already been delivered on despite challenges created by the Covid-19 crisis and low prices. This progress is testament to the industry's commitment to change, it said.