The UK’s leading oil and gas industry trade body has said any potential ban on new oil exploration in the North Sea would put the country’s net-zero future at risk.
Over the weekend, a national newspaper reported that UK ministers are considering such a move as part of preparations for the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
Mike Tholen, sustainability director at Oil and Gas UK, said: “Any curtailment of activity by licensing constraints risks impeding the UK’s ability to deliver a net-zero future, damaging our domestic supply chain and increasing energy imports whilst exporting the jobs and skills.
“Our industry is leading the way on green technologies including the switch to hydrogen and long-term storage of CO2. Achieving this through UK companies will require significant investment and we continue to work constructively with the government to show this industry has the essential expertise and commitment to ensure delivery”.