Our industry manifesto

Unleash our potential, power our future

The UK offshore energy sector is essential for the economic and environmental prosperity of our country.

Our brilliant, skilled people work tirelessly to produce the energy from off the coast of Britain that powers not just our homes, transport and industry, but the everyday products we need to live well.

We are proud to make a huge contribution. Oil and gas production alone added over £20 billion to the UK economy in 2022/2023. The offshore energy industry provides over 200,000 good, skilled jobs across the length and breadth of the UK. We provide secure and reliable energy to millions.

By choosing a homegrown energy transition, we can protect skills, secure investment and maximise sustainability.

The UK’s offshore energy sector has the potential to:

  1. Contribute to an energy transition which leaves no individual, community or sector behind.
  2. Secure over 200,000 high value jobs in the UK whilst growing the skilled and diverse workforce of the future.
  3. Deliver £200 billion of private investment over the next decade, spurring economic growth and fostering UK technology and  innovation across the energy mix and meeting around half of the UK energy needs by 2030.
  4. Meet the UK’s net zero commitment by 2050 or sooner, decarbonising offshore energy production to power homes and businesses across the breadth of the country.

Advertising doesn’t always offer the time or space to tell the full story.

If our campaign ads have piqued your interest, then this is where you can delve into the facts, details and context behind them.

Our vision

A successful homegrown energy transition can help deliver the economic growth the UK needs, because secure supplies of homegrown energy will help grow our economy. We believe the UK can become a leading green industrial power. We need skilled people to develop and deliver energy, and we need investment to accelerate progress towards net zero. We must build an industry capable of creating a secure, skilled and sustainable future.

To unleash our potential and power our future, we must choose a homegrown energy transition.

  • 01.

    What is net zero?

    Net zero means that the UK’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would be equal to or less than the emissions the UK removed from the environment. This can be achieved by a combination of emission reduction and emission removal. The UK government net zero strategy intends that by the middle of this century the world has to reduce emissions to as close to zero as possible, with the small amount of remaining emissions absorbed through natural carbon sinks like forests, and new technologies like carbon capture. If we can achieve this, global emissions of greenhouse gases will be ‘net zero’.

  • 02.

    What is a homegrown energy transition?

    A ‘homegrown’ energy transition to net zero emissions means relying as much as possible on energy produced domestically in the UK, rather than on imports.

  • 03.

    How is £200 billion in possible investment from the offshore sector calculated?

    We have arrived at this figure based on OEUK research of company business plan data and modelling of investment aligned with government targets: 50GW offshore wind, 20-30MT CCS, 10GW hydrogen production. This data is for 2023-2030.

  • 04.

    Over 23 million homes in the UK rely on oil and gas boilers for heat and hot water

    This is a well-cited industry statistic quoted across well known sites and publications. For example UK Boiler Statistics 2023 (uswitch.com), Heat and buildings strategy: the good, bad and ugly of the UK’s plan to replace gas boilers (theconversation.com)

  • 05.

    Electricity represents around 20% of our energy consumption

    Government data shows that electricity makes up just under 20% of the UK’s final energy consumption, (pg. 10 UK ENERGY IN BRIEF 2023 (publishing.service.gov.uk)) The UK’s electricity consumption has fallen over time, but this trend will need to reverse for the UK to achieve its climate targets. Most of the UK’s energy consumption comes from transport and domestic heating, and these are both significantly dominated by oil and gas.

  • 06.

    How is the investment in oil and gas calculated? What are the challenges in calculating the investment in renewables?

    OEUK uses a range of data sources to assess investment in the UK’s energy system. This includes data collected from OEUK member companies, published regulatory data and data provided by third parties (such as Rystad Energy)

  • 07.

    How many jobs does the offshore industry support and how are they calculated?

    OEUK analysis of the UK economic and employment contribution of the oil and gas sector is based on a standardised approach using government direct jobs data as its base. Indirect and induced jobs are then modelled by tracking the flow of expenditure on oil and gas production as it passes through the economy. From this OEUK estimates that the oil and gas sector support over 200,000 jobs across all areas of the UK.

    • Direct: People who work in companies that provide specialist goods and services with a focus on oil and gas projects. This is based directly on published government data, at the above link.
    • Indirect: People who work in the wider supply chain whose roles are supported by oil and gas activity. This is modelled based on industry expenditure and government data.
    • Induced employment: People in energy communities across the UK whose jobs are only viable because the oil and gas industry is active in the local economy. This is modelled based on industry expenditure and government data.

    The same approach can be applied to the value of oil and gas production to the UK economy (GVA) as taken for employment.

  • 08.

    How can UK offshore energy boost the economy?

    Offshore energy companies are currently spending around £25bn per year developing, operating, and decommissioning projects in the UK waters. This expenditure creates economic value by providing important work for supply chain companies across the country, supporting jobs, and providing taxes. Independent analysis conducted for OEUK estimated that oil & gas production adds over £20 billion to the UK economy [ref OEUK Economic Report].

    The sector has the potential to deliver £200 billion in private investment over the next decade, securing over 200,000 high-value jobs in the UK while growing a skilled and diverse workforce in the future.

    Significant export opportunities have been identified in floating wind, CCS, and hydrogen projects. International markets that could be accessible to the UK energy supply chain companies could be over £1.1 trillion by 2040. The largest of these markets is hydrogen and CCS with accumulated spending reaching £590 billion and £470 billion respectively, between 2024 and 2040, five to six times the floating offshore wind market at £100 billion. As part of this, the potential export market for design and engineering services, where the UK holds significant capabilities, totals £125 billion across the three areas. [Ref independent study on Supply chain conducted by Rystad Energy for OEUK]

    This provides additional economic opportunity by supporting jobs, paying company taxes, and supporting the UK’s balance of payments. This will only be realised if the UK maintains a strong and competitive energy supply chain.

  • 09.

    How can the UK offshore energy industry foster technology?

    The North Sea was one of the first offshore energy provinces in the world, leading the way in offshore technology development.

    The offshore industry builds large projects, hundreds of miles off the coast of the country, often in waters more than 1000 feet deep, with some of the harshest weather conditions in the world. This means that developing and using new technologies is crucial for accessing energy resources, keeping people safe, and minimise any environmental impacts.

    The offshore energy industry was the first to develop and use subsea technology and has become the leader in this area with some of the world’s largest Subsea companies such as Subsea7, TechnipFMC, and Boskalis. These companies have major bases in the UK to service homegrown and international projects. The Global Underwater Hub and National Subsea Centre have been established making the sector a centre of excellence.

    The UK has also been a first mover in high-pressure and high-temperature oil and gas field developments. Reservoirs such as Elgin, Frankling, Culzean, Erskine, and Jade are some of the highest pressure and temperature oil and gas fields, which require advanced technologies to develop.

    As the area matures, it can continue to be at the centre of technological advancement.

    The North Sea Transition Deal includes an industry commitment for 30% of new technologies used in the future of the basin to be locally sourced. The UK offshore energy industry is committed to technology stewardship as a key enabler in its drive to decarbonise its operations, ensure energy security, and deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The NZTC, established as part of the Aberdeen City & Shire Region Deal, is a global leader in low-carbon technology development.

    Our industry also works with the Technology Leadership Board (TLB) which is one of seven industry task forces reporting to the North Sea Transition Forum. The TLB represents a cross-section of industry and includes oil & gas and renewables operators, suppliers, technology & research organisations, and the government.

    Co-chaired by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) and industry, the TLB interfaces with the other North Sea Transition Task Forces to agree on synergies, avoid duplication of effort, and maximise the benefit to the industry’s technological development. This focuses on identifying the key opportunities and challenges for the future, creating clear priorities, and connecting industry, regulators, academia, and technology delivery organisations to develop and deploy existing and exciting new solutions.

  • 10.

    How can the UK offshore energy increase innovation?

    New technology plays a key role in the decarbonisation of operations on the UK Continental Shelf and in developing new technology resources. Our industry operates in the most hostile and challenging of conditions and is essential to delivering the energy transition thanks to the ground-breaking thinking and technological innovations developed by our world-class supply chain.

    The industry engages with the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) (the oil and gas industry regulator) through the Asset Stewardship processes, which include Stewardship Expectation SE08 focused on the application of technologies over the full life cycle of offshore energy installations. Operators are expected to continue to update or to develop, a UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) Technology Plans on an annual basis.

    The NSTA’s Stewardship Expectation requires our industry’s oil and gas operators to submit information on their technology development and deployments. The NSTA meets with them to confirm progress as well as test that technologies are effectively used. Feedback on our industry’s Technology plans is published annually in the NSTA’s Technology Survey & Insights report. These reports are important indicators of the industry’s ability to meet current technology needs and highlight priority areas. The most recent NSTA Technology Survey showed there was strong evidence of a continuing focus on technologies for the effective and cost-efficient development of remaining hydrocarbon resources, complemented by efforts to reduce emissions.

    Making the UK a good place for companies to want to do business will help attract investment from across the world into our UK energy supply chain, helping to anchor companies, people, and future technology advancements.

    Over half of the technologies are sourced directly from supply chain companies and this trend was confirmed in the 2023 Technology Insight. In over 30% of the cases, operators actively partner with selected suppliers to develop solutions in partnership, and/or form Joint Industry Projects. The survey referenced 1,220 technologies across areas including Facilities Design and Inspections, Drilling and well construction, Well intervention, and emission reduction.

    The UK also has the potential to become the world leader in the development of floating wind technologies. The world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, was set up in the UK and has been operational since 2017. The UK has amongst the world’s largest floating wind energy resource opportunities, with massive advantages in terms of location, for the development of new technologies. Likewise, the UK has one of Europe’s largest carbon storage resource opportunities, which positions it well to lead the way in technology advancement in this area. The offshore energy industry and the government are working closely to ensure that the UK is well-placed to attract investment and realise its full potential.

OEUK is the leading trade body for the UK’s integrated offshore energies industry.

Our membership includes over 400 organisations with an interest in offshore oil, gas, CCUS, hydrogen and wind. From operators to the supply chain and across the lifecycle from production to decommissioning, they are safely providing cleaner fuel, power and products to the UK. Working together with our members, we are a driving force supporting the UK in ensuring security of energy supply while helping to meet its net zero ambitions.

We work on behalf of the sector and our members to inform understanding with facts, evidence and data, engage on a range of key issues and support the broader value of this industry in a changing energy landscape.

To find out more or share your thoughts, please contact:

Jenny Stanning

External Relations Director

Mike Gaskill

Head of External Relations

For general external relations enquiries

Working together, producing cleaner energies