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    UK Offshore Welcomes 2021 Budget Statement


But behind the warm reception is an impatience with the delay to agree a transition deal.

by: William Powell

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UK Offshore Welcomes 2021 Budget Statement

The UK offshore oil and gas industry was upbeat about the finance minister Rishi Sunak's Budget, which was announced in detail in the lower house of parliament March 3. It said the minister recognised the positive role that the upstream would play in achieving the net zero economy.

It also said it looked forward to finalising the transition deal, which will manage the social impact of the reduction in oil and gas output and the development of alternative forms of energy. The sector is aiming to become net zero carbon by 2035, which will involve electrification, more digitalisation and carbon offsets, among other things but the deal has been on the agenda for several years.

Industry body Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) said its world-class supply chain has the expertise to deliver secure and affordable energy while driving low carbon solutions. Reacting to trailed announcements March 2, CEO Deirdre Michie said the plans outlined in the Budget  would create jobs and help position the UK as a global hub of green energy. "Our workforce has the talent, expertise and skills to accelerate the delivery of the low carbon solutions of the future including carbon capture, use and sequestration, hydrogen and decarbonisation projects with huge potential for our expertise to be exported around the world.

“This funding will help create employment opportunities in new technologies, support the reduction of emissions from production and enable our industry to become part of a new low carbon energy community. Key to this will be the North Sea transition deal which we look forward to working closely and quickly with government to finalise,” she said.

Elaborating after the speech, she said that if it were designed properly, the deal would create "tens of thousands of high-quality jobs" and attract "billions of pounds of investment into parts of the country that need it most. We look forward to successfully implementing it in partnership with the government and making the UK a global hub for green energy technology.”

The Budget also covered green bonds,a hydrogen hub and a £20 ($28)mn competition to develop floating offshore wind projects, recognition of the important role that floating wind has to play as part of the offshore mix.