The UK’s offshore fields can support around 40% of the country’s gas consumption and two-thirds of its oil consumption over the next two years. That's the claim from Offshore Energies UK, the industry body which has published its approach to delivering what it calls “secure clean energy” now and in the future.
It follows the UK’s commitment to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year in response to the war in Ukraine. Along with other European countries, the UK is also considering plans to wean itself off Russian gas imports. Russian imports account for around 10% of UK oil and petroleum product needs and 4% of UK gas supply.
Offshore Energies UK, until recently known as Oil and Gas UK, said it was a “responsible and reliable energy partner” but called for rapid decisions on the recovery of hydrocarbon assets. It said it would continue to reduce its carbon footprint as set out in the North Sea Transition Deal.
The report said: “With sustained and visible government and regulatory support, industry can contribute around 40% of UK gas consumption and the equivalent of more than two-thirds of oil consumption throughout the next two years.” It also calls for the specification of gas to be widened to increase quantities that can be delivered to the system from existing production.
Offshore Energies UK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “We look to events taking place in Ukraine with horror. Many energy producer companies have withdrawn from Russia, and we recognise the UK Government’s commitment to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
“For over 50 years, the UK offshore energy industry has helped meet the UK’s power and fuel needs with domestically produced oil and gas, and the industry is committed to being a reliable and responsible energy partner. The changing context does not change the facts, and we continue to accelerate both the decarbonisation of our sector and the solutions required to decarbonise the UK economy. Today we outline our plan underpinning the delivery of secure clean energy for the UK today, tomorrow and in future.”