Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Boris Johnson: North Sea oil and gas in ‘national effort’ to wean UK off Russian energy

© Stuart Wallace/Shutterstockwindfall tax north sea
Boris Johnson

Turning off the taps to North Sea oil and gas leaves the country open to “blackmail” by Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned.

The Tory leader told his party’s conference in Aberdeen how Scotland can lead a “great national effort” to wean the UK off any Russian fossil fuels.

At the same time, Mr Johnson pledged to “double down” on renewable energy such as wind and tidal.

Mr Johnson claimed there is no “inconsistency” to push for continued oil and gas production while global leaders tackle a “climate emergency”.

Oil and gas in a climate emergency

He said: “I don’t see any inconsistency in this at all.

“If you go back to 1990, 70% of our energy was from coal. It’s now less than one per cent.

“We’ve made huge progress.

“You’ve got to have a sensible approach, a pragmatic approach for a low-carbon future.”

He focused on the vital offshore industry in his speech on the first day of the Tory conference.

UK must cut out Russian gas

Much of it was underlined by the response to Putin’s shock invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Johnson said: “There is one crucial way in which we can begin now to help the whole world to stand up to Putin.

“And that is to wean ourselves off dependence on his oil and gas.

“In that great national effort, Scotland will be in the lead.”

He referenced hydrogen power which is already powering buses in the city.

And he said £39 million is being spent on tidal.

Nuclear is also becoming a central part of Tory plans for energy security – a controversial idea opposed by the Scottish Government.

Attacking calls to cut North Sea oil, he said: “Are we not crazy to shut down domestic production, only to buy oil and gas – at a vast mark-up – from Putin’s Russia?”

“Turn the taps off now, cap the wells – what a disaster that would be.

“It means prices up, jobs lost and just when householders are feeling the pinch of high prices.

“And it means exposing the UK to continued blackmail from Putin.

“Together the UK is leading the world in standing up to the hydrocarbon drug-pushing bully of the Kremlin.”

Tories criticised for carbon capture failure

Mr Johnson has been heavily criticised by the SNP for claiming to invest in renewables while failing to deliver major schemes, such as carbon capture in the north-east.

There was a major backlash when the UK Government confirmed Scotland had missed out on the Acorn carbon capture and storage plan for St Fergus last year.

The prime minister, asked if he can ever commit to it, said: “It’s a very good scheme with a lot of potential.

“It didn’t make it in the last round but I’ve every confidence it will make it in the future.”

‘Tory cost of living crisis’

The SNP’s Rona Mackay said the speech neglected a “Tory cost of living crisis”.

She said: “For a Prime Minister to pitch up and deliver a message bereft of any substance about how he will help families make ends meet exposes just how little he cares about the people of this country.

“Scotland can see right through this Partygate Prime Minister who only ever looks out for number one.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts