As the UK Government phases out Russian oil imports, Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) publishes its approach to delivering a secure and clean energy system for the future.
25 March 2022: Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising energy prices and the UK Government’s commitment to phase out Russian oil, OEUK, the leading trade body for the UK’s integrating offshore energies industry, has published its approach to deliver secure and clean energy for today and in the future.
‘Reliable and Responsible Partners: A Plan for Clean and Secure Energy’, recognises the vital role that the offshore energy industry continues to play in delivering the UK’s power and fuel supplies, underpinning the industry’s commitment to deliver a cleaner and more secure energy system.
The plan outlines a series of tangible steps and recommendations for the UK Government covering the near, medium and long-term. Importantly, the industry’s net zero commitments remain at the heart of the plan, supporting the development of a cleaner energy system for the UK.
The plan comes ahead of Offshore Energies UK’s Business Outlook 2022 report, which will be published on Tuesday 29 March and will outline expected trends for oil and gas production, offshore wind as well as the pipeline of CCUS and hydrogen projects on the horizon.
OEUK’s plan for clean and secure energy
Although Russian supplies account for just a tenth of the UK’s oil needs and four percent of UK gas demand, steps should be taken to protect reliable energy supplies. We need to:
- Make the most of responsible and reliable energy partners, including the UK offshore oil and gas industry – the industry can support around 40% of UK gas consumption and the equivalent of more than two thirds of oil consumption throughout the next two years.
- Make decisions rapidly and prioritise the recovery of UK’s oil and gas resources that supports an ever-reducing carbon footprint, as outlined in the North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD).
- Widen gas specification, which is currently narrower than most countries in the EU, to increase quantities of gas that could be delivered to the system from existing production.
- Ensure long-term fiscal stability and predictability to support major investment decisions by members.
While current UK resources ensure a strong level of energy security, in the medium term, it will be important to adopt low carbon energy solutions and reduce the need for imported fossil fuels. We need to:
- Commit to a planned transition as the production of oil and gas from UK water declines.
- Strengthen resilience through increased storage, which could be reconfigured for the deployment of hydrogen in future.
- Unlock £16bn investment in cleaner energy including hydrogen production and CCS.
- Turbo-charge the offshore wind revolution and electrify oil and gas platforms and return more UK gas directly to consumers instead of using it to power offshore operations.
- Maintain the integrity of European energy markets through full implementation of Trade and Cooperation Agreement, securing cross-border delivery of energy and supporting integrated energy markets
In the long-term, OEUK and its members are committed to delivering a low-carbon energy future. Through the existing NSTD, the industry will be ready to plug in clean hydrogen, wind and low-carbon oil and gas. We need to:
- Deliver new energy legislation to enable CCUS and hydrogen to achieve their full potential and accelerate renewables capacity development
- Set an ambitious outcome for hydrogen in commercial or residential setting, as well as transport
- Support the UK’s world class supply chain through support of OEUK’s plan and supporting a healthy and competitive supply chain in the UK
- Build on the success of the NSTD to champion the industry’s success stories, people and skills on the world stage
Setting out the organisation’s plan, OEUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:
“We look to events taking place in Ukraine with horror. Many energy producer companies have withdrawn from Russia, and we recognise the UK government’s commitment to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
For over 50 years, the UK offshore energy industry has helped meet the UK’s power and fuel needs with domestically produced oil and gas, and the industry is committed to being a reliable and responsible energy partner. The changing context does not change the facts, and we continue to accelerate both the decarbonisation of our sector and the solutions required to decarbonise the UK economy.
“Today we outline our plan underpinning the delivery of secure clean energy for the UK today, tomorrow and in future.”