The boss of an oil and gas trade body has welcomed a UK government review into licensing rounds for the sector.
Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie is calling for an “constructive and open discussion” about how the country continues to meet its energy needs while creating jobs and making it affordable for consumers.
The Westminster government is currently looking at the future offshore oil and gas licensing regime as part of its aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The industry is currently working with the UK government on a North Sea Transition Deal which will look to harness the full potential of the sector in developing cleaner energy solutions including carbon capture usage and storage and hydrogen.
Ms Michie said the government’s review is a chance to look at ways of moving towards a lower carbon future in the decades ahead.
She said:“The UK offshore oil and gas industry has the essential expertise to help the UK meet its climate ambitions by 2050 while at the same time providing affordable energy for households and families, supporting jobs, and creating exciting energy jobs of the future.
“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.
“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.
“We now need a constructive and open conversation about how our oil and gas producing country can 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.”
Business and energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Over half of our electricity now comes from low-carbon sources, power from coal is at an all-time low, and we have more installed offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world.
“While we have decarbonised our economy faster than any other major country over the past two decades, the oil and gas sector will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future as we move toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Our review into future oil and gas licensing rounds will ensure we are able to meet our net zero target, while protecting jobs across the country as part of our plan to build back better with a greener, cleaner economy.”