The UK oil and gas industry has made “strong progress” towards implementing the aims of a landmark pact between the sector and government.
In the first 10 months since the North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD) was signed, several key milestones included within it have already been reached, a review carried out by trade body OGUK has found.
Agreed at the end of March, the NSTD set out an ambitious plan for how the UK offshore oil and gas sector would work with Westminster to deliver net zero emissions.
It also seeks to safeguard and transition thousands of existing jobs, while creating another 40,000 new positions by 2030, in areas including carbon capture storage (CCS) and hydrogen production.
Since the deal, the first of its kind among G7 countries, was struck, both industry and government have made headway in a number of areas.
A methane action plan has been launched and two ‘Track 1’ CCS projects have been selected to be up and running by the mid-2020s.
Industry regulator the Oil and Gas Authority has also announced the winners of its £1 million electrification competition.
Carbon emissions from the UK continental shelf have also been been reduced, OGUK said.
Energy & climate change minister Greg Hands said: “Since agreeing our landmark North Sea Transition Deal we have made great progress towards delivering on its ambitious commitments, helping support and safeguard the sector’s highly-skilled workers and supply chain as we shift to a lower carbon future.”
Scotland’s just transition minister Richard Lochhead said: “It is positive to see how much progress has been made since the North Sea Transition Deal was agreed in March last year.
“Ensuring our journey to net zero by 2045 is just and fair for everyone is critical, and the ambitious terms for the North Sea Transition Deal will be fundamental in achieving this. We will continue to engage with OGUK and UK Governments to ensure the plan for the sector is delivered.”
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of OGUK, said: “In less than ten months, the UK Government and the offshore sector have made huge progress against the ambitious terms of the North Sea Transition Deal – working to reduce carbon emissions, invest in new energy technology and build the foundations for a just transition to net zero by 2050. This is only the beginning, but I believe that through close cooperation with governments across the UK, we will deliver on the deal – which can act as a blueprint for collaboration in other countries.”