Night Time Offshore Oil Rig Drilling and Fracking Operation, Brightly Lit, on Calm Seas, Oil Platform

Economy to be boosted by new oil and gas licences

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has announced that a new bill has been introduced to parliament, that will support economy, energy and net zero goals.

Through the new Offshore Petroleum Licencing Bill, annual oil and gas licensing rounds will be subject to new emissions and import tests, with this supporting the government’s aims to back the economy and environmental targets. This move will help to increase levels of certainty and investor confidence in the energy sector, whilst also making the UK less dependent on imported energy.

In the UK, the oil and gas industry currently supports approximately 200,000 jobs, whilst adding £16 billion to the economy every year, this is alongside the £50 billion that fossil fuel producers are predicted to pay in tax over the course of the next five years. Whilst also supporting the economy, the UK’s energy sector plays a key role in net zero and climate commitments, as it draws on the necessary supply chains, expertise and skills needed for low-carbon industries to thrive.

Claire Coutinho, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, said:

“The UK has cut its emissions faster than any of its peers. But as the independent Climate Change Committee acknowledges we will need oil and gas even after we reach net zero in 2050.

“As energy markets become more unstable it’s just common sense to make the most of our own homegrown advantages and use the oil, gas, wind, and hydrogen on our doorstep in the North Sea. Rather than importing dirtier fuels from abroad, we want to give industry the certainty to invest in jobs here and unlock billions of pounds for our own transition to clean energy.”

Domestic energy supplies are to be strengthened through this new bill, as it requires the North Sea Transition Authority to make annual licensing rounds to invite new production applications in the UK’s waters.


Image credit: iStock

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