Dr Andy Samuel, North Sea Transition Authority’s Chief Executive, welcomes the Energy Strategy and the part that the oil and gas industry and the NSTA play in tackling the issues we face.
“The energy trilemma of security of supply, affordability and sustainability must finally be solved and this strategy is a welcome step forward.
The new Strategy comes at a time when Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has contributed to families facing ever-higher bills for everyday essentials and motorists paying record prices at the pumps as energy prices soar.
All this against the backdrop of the climate emergency, vividly detailed in the IPCC’s report this week, means that the need for an energy strategy responsive to these needs is very clear and the NSTA will work at pace to support the government targets laid out in today’s publication.
I am personally pleased to see focus on demand reduction with the clear target of reducing gas usage 40% by 2030. It is important that we continue to meet the UK’s declining needs with secure domestically produced oil and gas, which has a lower carbon footprint than most imports, while weaning ourselves off gas use and scaling-up renewables as quickly as possible.
Oil and gas currently supply around 3/4 of our energy needs and will continue to be essential for decades to come. That is why we plan to hold a licensing round later this year – taking into account the government’s Climate Compatibility Checkpoint – and steward new oil and gas developments into production – bolstering energy security and resilience. Equally we expect capital to be reinvested in energy transition projects from electrification through to carbon capture and clean hydrogen.
We continue to ensure that ongoing North Sea operations are cleaner. Our tough regime has seen flaring and venting cut by more than a fifth for two successive years and our interventions have helped the sector avoid producing more than one tonne of lifetime CO2e – equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road for one year.
We are working with government, industry and other regulators to accelerate North Sea energy integration. The call for greater pace on floating wind projects is welcome - offering exciting opportunities for the supply chain and we want to see clean power supplied to two offshore oil and gas hubs by 2027.
We are also currently preparing the UK’s first-ever carbon storge licensing round, as we ramp up our licensing activity to support the capture of 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030."