The UK could become the Silicon Valley of energy.
That’s what Oil & Gas UK’s (OGUK) Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said in the opening speech of the organization’s annual conference this week, adding that, with the right support, the UK will be the global leader in the critical areas of the future, such as emissions reduction, clean energy, and low carbon technologies.
In the speech, Michie highlighted that the North Sea Transition Deal was the cornerstone of this exportable growth sector for the country and pointed out that the deal is the first of its kind by a G7 country.
“Our sector is still a jewel in the crown and an industrial success story for the UK,” Michie said in the speech. “There have been many other jewels – shipbuilding, textiles, steel and mining to name just a few,” Michie added.
“What all of these have in common is that they were all lost while the demand for their products continued. With dire consequences – let’s not sugarcoat it – on people and jobs, communities and businesses that were left behind and opportunities to transform being lost,” Michie said.
“Understanding why we let this happen is key because history doesn’t have to be repeated. But we have to make conscious choices,” Michie continued. “We are choosing to be responsible and drive down our industry emissions while investing in the energies of the future – at a pace which is leading the way globally,” Michie went on to say.
In the speech, Michie noted that she continued to ask politicians of all parties to consider their conscious choice, that while the UK continues to use oil and gas, as much of that is met from UK businesses.
“Being accountable for our emissions, supporting jobs, and powering energy communities which are very much on the cusp of change; unlocking the investment but also the engineering expertise we need to get there faster; supporting the hundreds of companies across the supply chain who have sharpened their skills in the oil and gas sector and are now working across the energy industry,” Michie said.
“That is the choice that means we will meet our climate goals in a way which is fair and leaves no one behind,” Michie added.
OGUK’s annual conference is taking place via three free to attend morning webinars from June 1-3. The event brings together industry leading experts from across the sector and beyond to discuss the changing face of the UK offshore oil and gas industry, in the run up to COP26, OGUK’s website highlights.
Back in March, the UK government agreed a North Sea Transition Deal with the industry. Following the deal, OGUK praised industry and political backing for the agreement, adding that the deal was supported by its members, which it said represent over 400 companies spanning the length and breadth of the UK.