Ahead of visits to the North East of Scotland by both Conservative leadership contenders, OEUK has underlined the importance of stating clear support for the UK’s changing offshore oil and gas industry and its role in meeting the country’s energy needs. The body has said the high profile calls to extend the windfall tax by some parties has provoked angst in the sector, with billions of uncommitted spending at stake as companies continue to decide which projects globally to invest in.
Currently around half of the UK’s gas needs are met by domestic production, and about 80% equivalent oil needs. The sector has a large base in Aberdeen and across the UK, contributing billions to the economy, supporting 200,000 jobs and leading the way in the development of cleaner offshore energies including wind, hydrogen and oil and gas supported by carbon capture and storage.
OEUK warned earlier this week that driving investment away from UK projects could further add to consumer costs by increasing dependence on imported gas, oil and electricity at a time when 85% of homes remain reliant on gas, and it remains a backbone of the UK’s power mix.
Speaking ahead of the visits, OEUK External Relations Director Jenny Stanning said:
“While both Conservative party leadership candidates have stated their support for the sector, the ongoing speculation caused by recent calls to extend the tax is hurting places like Aberdeen which have a vibrant offshore energy industry. We are clear that extending the windfall tax would make it even harder to attract investment that is badly needed to meet the UK’s energy needs.
“If we fail to reverse or even manage the declining levels of domestic oil and gas production, this won’t just impact jobs and companies here in North East Scotland- it will drive up consumer costs as we import more and more of our energy from overseas.
“Gas currently heats 85% of homes in the UK and we’re proud that much of this is met from UK waters, supporting jobs, contributing taxes and importantly, putting those skills to work to produce the cleaner energies of the future. From Aberdeen to East Anglia to Southampton and everywhere in between, it’s important that politicians of all parties recognise the critical role this sector is playing and can continue to play in keeping the nation’s lights on, homes warm and industries powered. We urge Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to make clear their commitment when they visit North East Scotland today.”