UK Upstream Welcomes Financial Support
UK upstream industry group Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) welcomed the winter economy plans announced by finance minister Rishi Sunak September 24. They include a wage top-up for small and medium businesses to replace the furlough scheme when it ends soon. Companies will also be given more time to repay funds accessed through the government’s coronavirus loan schemes.
A report by OGUK earlier this year warned up to 30,000 jobs could be lost in the sector as it faces low oil and gas prices alongside the operational impact of the coronavirus pandemic. OGUK urged the government to keep focused on a green recovery, "where the essential expertise of the oil and gas industry could mean fresh opportunities for the fragile supply chain."
The offshore is aiming to be net zero carbon, as electrification, digitalisation and remote operations reduce logistical and operational emissions of CO2.
OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie said its members had continued to provide affordable energy to millions across the UK and Sunak's announcement would be helpful to the sector. But beyond that, more people need to be working and she said that OGUK continued to have conversations with government about how to accelerate maintenance programmes and other activity as soon as possible.
Further, the green recovery, which puts the "essential expertise of our industry to work in building the solutions we need to meet our climate ambitions," must remain in focus. That. plus a North Sea Transition Deal and continued support for our industry would slow down the decline in output and so keep costs low while creating new jobs for the future, she said.