Rishi Sunak’s appointment as the UK’s next Prime Minister has been greeted by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) as a chance to refocus attention on the crucial issues facing the nation, including helping people pay their winter energy bills, and keeping the lights on in the face of Europe-wide gas shortages.
In the longer term, he must deal with the challenges of fuelling the future – including using the gas and oil remaining in the UK’s offshore waters to provide energy during the transition to a low-carbon future.
OEUK said it was ready to work with the new government on all such issues. It particularly welcomed Mr Sunak’s first speech as Conservative leader in which he acknowledged that the UK faced a “profound economic challenge” and stressed the need for stability.
Deirdre Michie, OEUK’s chief executive, said:
“We wish Rishi Sunak the best. We are already in very challenging times and energy is at the top of the agenda. Global energy prices are rising, and UK consumers face surging bills at the coldest time of year. Energy security is also critical as Putin tries to create further shortages across Europe.
“OEUK’s members are protecting the UK from many of the worst impacts of those shortages by producing energy for the whole nation. They will keep doing that in the tough times ahead. We work with politicians of all parties, now including Mr Sunak’s administration, and we look forward to meeting him and his team.
She continued “When we do, we will be making a powerful case around the need for stability in the fiscal and regulatory regimes governing the UK’s offshore sector. The UK needs to secure billions of pounds for offshore investments if it is to keep producing the gas, oil and offshore wind, plus other low-carbon energies, needed for future growth and productivity, and especially for the transition to net zero.
“The scale and longevity of that investment means it is critical to establish a sustainable and competitive fiscal regime in the timeframe of this parliament, to secure the UK’s energy future.”
(Check figures before use using eg UK government Digest of UK Energy Statistics)
- Gas and oil supplied 75% of the UK’s total energy in 2021.
- Gas is our largest energy source, supplying about 43% of total UK energy
- Oil is the second largest source, providing about 34% of the UK’s total energy
Gas Demand – how much gas does the UK consume?
- 78 billion cubic metres – Amount of gas consumed by the UK in 2021
- 1,100 cubic metres – Annual UK gas consumption per person in 2021
- 43% – Proportion of UK energy supplied by gas – making it the UK’s largest source of energy
- 24 million homes – About 80% of UK homes rely on gas heating
- 42% – Proportion of UK electricity produced by burning gas
Oil Demand – how much oil does the UK consume?
- 55 million tonnes – oil and oil products consumed in 2021.
- 0.8 tonnes – Annual oil consumption per person in 2021
- 34% – Proportion of UK energy supplied by oil, our second largest source of energy
- 32 million – number of cars and other vehicles relying on petrol or diesel fuels
- 22 million tonnes – consumed as diesel
- 10m tonnes – consumed as petrol
- 1.5 million – Number of UK homes relying on heating oil (equating to 6m people)