OEUK today responded to Prime Minister Liz Truss’s statement and her announcement of new measures to shield consumers from the surge in energy prices following Russia’s actions in Ukraine and subsequent supply issues across Europe.
Mike Tholen, Acting CEO of Offshore Energies UK, said:
“This new approach by government is designed to meet the energy security challenges the UK and its people face from Putin’s weaponisation of energy and we welcome this goal. As reliable, responsible partners, our industry has supported successive governments to produce homegrown secure energy to power the nation and today is nurturing the transition to net zero and enabling renewable technologies like offshore wind power.
“Managing consumers bills during this period is essential both for households and businesses. Government has acted ambitiously in this respect which is something the whole energy industry has been calling for. We look forward to seeing the newly announced energy task force take shape and contributing to its work as it looks to maintain UK competitiveness through these challenging times.
“We continue to pay many billions in tax. Our industry is already paying the highest tax rate for any sector when it is trying to invest in the next generation of oil and gas, which is critical to our energy security and for powering the transition to net zero. Calls to further change the tax rules rocks the investor confidence we need to produce our own oil and gas and power the energy transition. Windfall taxes will deter companies from the UK and handicap the investment needed to deliver energy security across the board.
“New oil and gas licences and investment here in the UK mean that we and our Europe neighbours are less likely to have to scramble for international supplies or return to using other fossil fuels, with all the implications that would have for cost, emissions, jobs and national security.
“Maintaining domestic supplies of fossil fuels supports the development of renewables by providing reliable back up resources and we have already expanded production by 27% in the first six months of 2022.
“We are doing this while ramping up investment in clean electricity but also finding solutions for the 75% of our energy system which uses oil and gas for fuel, power and heating. We welcome the government’s continued commitment to the 2050 net zero objective, one we share.” OEUK’s Economic Report: A Focus on UK Energy Security, just published on September 7, examines the impacts of the global energy crisis on the UK and the nation’s prospects for boosting future energy independence. It comes amid turmoil in the global energy markets, linked to Russia’s malicious manipulation of gas flows into Europe, which has driven up global prices. The UK’s reliance on imports means average domestic annual bills have risen from about £1,300 to £3,500 in less than 12 months.