UK eases gas quality controls to tap extra supply: press
The UK government could ease restrictions on pumping low calorie, less energy-efficient North Sea gas, in an attempt to spur greater upstream activity, The Telegraph reported June 24, citing comments from UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
Industry experts have suggested around 500bn ft3 of low spec gas resources could lay in south North Sea waters. Extracting even a small share of these reserves could provide a massive boost for the UK offshore industry, as Whitehall seeks to strengthen UK energy independence and avert any further rise to UK living costs.
A move to reduce the quality threshold for natural gas extraction would also allay industry discontent following Whitehall's announcement of a "windfall tax" on oil and gas profits in late May. The Energy Profits Levy will be taxed at 25% and applies to all profits generated since May 26. The ruling Conservative government has come under fire following the policy announcement for endangering North Sea spending, running against the thrust of its wider energy security framework published earlier this year.
Whitehall was reluctant to change the rules, but appears to have changed its mind thanks to the Ukraine war. The UK is not massively exposed to Russian gas exports, however must grapple with tighter markets as EU countries drive up prices by buying up non-Russian supplies.