The UK upstream regulator Oil & Gas Authority has now become the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), reflecting its expanded objective of minimising offshore emissions, it said March 21.
The authority was set up in 2015, following the Wood Report, in order to maximise the value of the UK continental shelf’s oil and gas resources. Since then, governments have introduced successively ambitious plans to decarbonise, which the authority also has to reflect in its regulatory approach.
As well as licensing offshore carbon sequestration projects, the NSTA is also working on offshore electrification, to reduce diesel and gas consumption on platforms.
CEO Andrew Samuel (pictured below, courtesy NSTA) said the aim was to scale up renewable energy rapidly and, “while we transition, satisfy as much domestic oil and gas demand with our own resources as possible.” He said that the two objectives “can and must” co-exist if the UK were to avoid lurching from crisis to crisis and “achieve an orderly energy transition that delivers broader economic benefits.”
Noting that an “increasingly polarised debate” had shaken industry confidence and put billions of pounds of investment at risk, he said the NSTA is stewarding “a good number of oil and gas developments in line with our net zero test, ensuring cleaner production, while bolstering energy security and giving the UK options.”
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