Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), the leading trade body for the UK’s integrated offshore energy industry, has submitted its response to the UK Government consultation into the creation of a climate compatibility checkpoint for future oil and gas licensing in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
The proposed checkpoint will be a new measure carried out before each future oil and gas licensing process to ensure any new licences are only awarded on the basis that they are aligned with the UK’s climate change commitments, including the UK’s target of reaching net zero by 2050.
In its response, OEUK highlights that despite the introduction of sustainable energy projects, all pathways to the energy transition show a continued need for oil and gas in meeting the UK’s energy requirements for decades to come.
OEUK’s view is that the UK should aim to produce as much of this oil and gas as it can. This would reduce the need for imports, support UK businesses and jobs, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the emissions generated by extracting, processing and transporting oil and gas in the UKCS are generally much lower than for imports.
The consultation comes almost a year on from the North Sea Transition Deal, which committed the sector to net zero emissions and sets out a plan of action agreed with governments to support cleaner energies while meeting the countries energy security needs.
OEUK has said the development of a successful checkpoint will help the UK Government deliver its net zero ambitions in a way that secures a strong economy and reliable energy supply. In its response, the body said the checkpoint must be part of a wider package of measures from the ambitious North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD) to ensure it supports long-term investment, energy security and a just transition.
Deirdre Michie, CEO of OEUK, said: “The Checkpoint can play an important role in ensuring the UK’s oil and gas industry can continue to meet the country’s energy needs with cleaner and reliable resources. Our response to the plans follows a consultation exercise with our member companies, spread across the length and breadth of the UK and supporting over 190,000 jobs.
“It’s critical that we have a clear and quantifiable checkpoint that supports the drive for net zero and delivers a managed transition towards cleaner energies, and we welcome the opportunity to continue working with government as these plans move forward.”