As we head into the autumn with renewed uncertainty on how the coronavirus pandemic will manifest, and continued concerns for our families, our community, our businesses and the economy it is a constant reminder that change is the norm like never before.
How we deal with uncertainty, respond to the challenges and seize the opportunities it creates will define us all.
As a major energy provider, the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry too is embracing change. From the east of England to the west of Shetland, talented people with fresh ambition are transforming for the better how we produce the energy used by millions across the UK to power homes, cars, and businesses, using technologies unimagined a generation ago.
Oil and gas continue to provide for most of our energy needs, currently accounting for three quarters of the UK’s primary energy.
But our industry rarely stands still, and even in the face of challenging headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic and low commodity prices, traditional oil and gas companies are innovating and positioning themselves to deliver a much lower carbon future.
As we continue to look to an uncertain future, one thing is clear – the energy transition is here to stay, and we are embracing it with gusto.
This is the positive story OGUK is proud to tell when we make the case for our industry to be put front and centre of the UK’s ambitions to build back better through a green recovery.
This industry has the essential expertise to help the UK meet its climate ambitions by 2050 and power the green recovery. At the same time, we can help keep energy costs lower for households and families, retain jobs and create new roles for the future.
Published in September last year and with 60 actions over those key areas, Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero, sets out how we can realise this exciting contribution. Many of those actions are already underway, supporting our members and the industry to realise fresh opportunities in tough times.
We have committed to targets which will halve emissions from the operational production of oil and gas in the next decade, reaching 90% by 2040 and then achieving net zero by 2050. And every week we hear stories of how our changing industry is embracing new opportunities.
All the while, we continue to work to meet as much of the UK’s oil and gas needs with domestic resources, reducing our reliance on imports and helping to provide solutions for emissions associated with the production of the oil and gas we all need.
Working with our members, OGUK is making the case to government for a sector deal which could act a catalyst for the roadmap, accelerating the transition and cementing our position in this new and exciting world.
Done right, and with appropriate support, it will mean we can continue to provide hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs in energy communities across the UK. It will mean that we produce the oil and gas the UK needs, and produce this with fewer emissions and a lower carbon footprint. At the same time, we will use the skills and expertise nurtured in our industry and apply this to offshore wind, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen, boosting the UK economy as we decarbonise.
We do live in uncertain and unsettling times. A managed and thoughtful transition towards a lower carbon future, which is supported by governments, regulators, and industry, could be part of the solution, providing the strategic direction companies need to invest in the UK now and for the long term.