Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has written a letter urging the future prime minister to prioritise reliable and cleaner energy produced in the UK.
OEUK wrote to the remaining candidates of the conservative leadership campaign, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, respectively: “The offshore energy Industry is a crucial part of the economy supporting 200,000 jobs across the United Kingdom directly and through our world-class supply chain.”
The trade body went on to explain that natural gas makes up 70% of the UK’s energy demand and 50% of that supply (45% of the UK’s overall power) is produced domestically on the UK continental shelf.
The Aberdeen-based OEUK added that natural gas is a “vital transition fuel”, explaining that its members are ” at the heart of this domestic supply” and are pushing energy transition into new technologies, such as hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and offshore wind.
The letter touches on the North Sea Transition Deal, describing it as a ‘quid pro quo’ between Westminster and industry and “should be central to any policy decisions relating to the sector”.
However, it remained concerned over the negative impact on investor confidence and expressed an interest to “work with the new Cabinet to ensure that this is mitigated where possible”.
The trade body lade out seven key “asks” for the future prime minister, whoever they turn out to be, these were:
- Commit to removing the Energy Profits Levy Act is removed as soon as possible and no later than the sunset clause of 2025.
- Candidates meeting with the sector to discuss the immediate challenges facing the sector in the UK ahead of any Emergency or Autumn Budget.
- Regular sector meetings with the new Prime Minister and Chancellor with visits to Aberdeen for Fiscal Forums.
- Re-commitment to the North Sea Transition Deal as the UK’s driving force for a Net Zero North Sea
- Climate Compatibility Checkpoint announced in Autumn 2022
- 33rd Licensing Round launched before the end of 2022
- Input from the sector into the Energy Act to ensure the UK has a secure energy supply and a fair transition.
OEUK’s director of external affairs Jenny Stanning said: “People across the UK are facing a tough winter as the cost-of-living squeeze continues.
“Leadership is about inspiring confidence in the future while delivering real security and certainty today.
“This winter the new Prime Minister will need to balance helping households with protecting the nation’s long-term energy security.
“It means this will be a pivotal time for investment in energy, both for our nation’s energy security and to ensure we deliver on the UK’s net zero commitment by 2050.
“We are engaging with Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, and their campaign teams, to ensure they recognise the vital part our sector will play in keeping the nation’s lights on and its homes warm during the difficult months ahead and the years to follow.”