Aberdonians are having their say on the future of the North Sea, including producing oil and gas in”better” ways and “supporting our own economy”.
Last week, advisory firm True North released a study showing 76% of Scots want the UK to meet its own oil and gas demands rather than relying on overseas imports.
However, the leader of the opposition UK Larbour party, Keir Starmer, also last week confirmed his government would block fresh investment in UK oil and gas and the Scottish Government’s energy plan looks to accelerate the transition.
Energy Voice took to the streets of Europe’s oil capital to gauge local opinion.
‘Far better than much of the world’
Granite City resident, Sam Snell, said: “Yes, I think oil and gas extraction should continue for as long as needed in the UK.”
He continued, saying: “Here in the UK we produce oil and gas under strict regulation, far better than much of the world.
“It’s far better to be supporting our own economy and knowing how responsibly the oil and gas is produced, rather than importing from other countries that may have lax regulatory requirements.”
The Aberdeen local, turned his attention to Starmer, describing the manifesto decision to cut investment in oil and gas as “idiotic” and “terrible policy.”
Mr Snell’s sentiment of producing oil and gas “for as long as needed in the UK” was one that was carried by other Aberdonians.
Aileen Garden said: “I don’t think we should be too reliant on energy coming from Russia, I think the world is in such an awful position just now that we have to be pretty self-reliant.
“If in the meantime that means sticking with oil and gas until we have provision for greener energy, I think we need to pursue not depending on the likes of Russia.”
Moyra, who has two sons that work in oil and gas added: “Scotland should still be producing its own oil and gas, as much as it can.
“I feel that we should still be able to produce our own,” adding, “there should still be investment in it.”
James Hutcheson has relatives that work in offshore wind, he drives an electric car and has solar panels on his home, however, he still supports Aberdeen’s oil industry: “I think it’s important for the economy of Scotland and I think it’s silly to import oil and gas from other countries which may be doing more pollution than we would be doing if we were extracting that oil.
“I worked in the oil and gas, I worked for BP since 1965 and I worked in the North Sea and Norway. I’m looking to go into renewable and change things but it’s still important that we extract oil and gas from Aberdeen.”
Others also look to renewables Ruth Dalgarno said that the transition to renewables should have happened by now: “I think we should move to renewables but I think we’re late in doing so. That should have been put in place 20 years ago, those wheels should have been turning.
“My other half is in the oil industry but the transition over to renewables, that should have been done a long time ago because we simply cannot keep on going the way that we are right now.”
Jenny Telfer shared the opinion that we need to accelerate our energy transition: “Any more oil that we produce is more detrimental to the environment, I understand that it’s not just a switch off button but we need to be weaning it off as soon as we can.
“Otherwise there isn’t going to be a future as we know it. So Renewables definitely has to be the future and the quicker we fully immerse ourselves in that is going to be better for the country and the world.”
Local Cafe owner Iwona Szmid believes that although renewables are an important next step, global politics are a limiting factor at the moment: “We will stay a little bit longer with oil and gas because of the situation we are in now and we need the source now.
“We are already starting to move towards more sustainable energy, I think we are already making that step to be more green.”
George Gall shared Mr Hutcheson and Mr Snell’s fears of importing oil that had been produced in a less environmentally friendly way: “Rather that importing it, wherever it’s imported from still produces toxins and things, why not produce it locally and try and keep prices down so we don’t have to rely on Ukraine or Russia for gas.
“It would be far better if we became self-sufficient.”
Segundo Catillo said: “With fuel and gas, the main services that increase the cost of living, maybe we’d be better decreasing that a little bit in comparison with other countries that don’t produce all of these products.”
Nadeem, who has lived in Aberdeen for 12 years, focussed on the economic advantages of oil and gas production in the UK, saying: “It will boost our economy, especially in our current situation with the different worries going on.
“New jobs can be created, it can be good for Scotland.”
Others, such as Ronnie Smollet, took aim at politicians looking to move away from oil and gas, saying: “They’re all the same, aren’t they?
“None of them know what actually happens in life, from people in oil and gas companies to farmers, everything, they haven’t got a clue.”
The Labour Party has been asked for comment.