This year is set to be one like no other for the UK’s changing offshore oil and gas industry.
With just two months until the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), our diverse and highly skilled supply chain has been gradually recovering from the effects of Covid-19 and the fall in commodity prices.
Our people’s skills are growing exponentially – helping to boost and establish a diversifying range of world-class capabilities that will help ensure we are major contributors in the transition to greener, cleaner energy.
Today, almost six months on from the ground-breaking North Sea Transition Deal, OGUK’s flagship Economic Report has reiterated this sector’s long-term commitment to the low carbon future and has shown how valuable we are to the wider economy.
Our activity supports some 200,000 jobs across the country and our gross value added to the UK economy has been around £31.1bn.
Around 73 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from oil and gas, 70 per cent of which is met by resources from home production.
Half of all our energy between now and 2050 will come from oil and gas, making clear this industry is one that will be needed for many years to come.
By importing oil and gas from other countries with higher emissions and less commitment to act on them, we would be needlessly increasing our carbon footprint damaging our environment, domestic supply chain, jobs, and energy communities.
Our industry remains a vital pillar of the economy, working to develop CCS and hydrogen projects that form a key part of the just and managed transition. For example, Wood is preparing a roadmap for how Scotland’s gas network system will need to be adapted if the country is to make the most of low-carbon technologies, Transocean has developed a way to capture energy generated during drilling, and Neptune Energy is harnessing the power of hydrogen.
We’re already seeing the transformation of many of our members and the wider industry, and their commitment to the greening process is evident.
We have a very promising outlook ahead. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global oil demand will rise by 5.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to about 96.7 million bpd. There is around £21bn of potential capital within company exploration and production plans between now and 2025.
Achieving the UK’s climate goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and continued oil and gas production are intrinsically linked and will be the backbone of the future energy ecosystem.
As we look ahead towards COP26 and other key milestones in our journey, it is important that we continue to see the pace of policy decision and support of investment needed to ensure a successful transition to a low carbon energy future.