Oil and gas leaders are calling for new UK drilling sites

Energy industry leaders urged new investment after figures showed the UK used more gas from Norway than it did from the North Sea in 2021, after gas production within the UK fell “significantly” last year.
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Ross Dornan of industry body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) said this marked the first time that supplies from a single other country had been larger than domestic supply.

His comments came as a new report from OEUK found that by 2030 about 80 per cent of UK gas supplies and more than 70 per cent of oil supplies will have to come from other countries if there is no new investment in off shore gas around the UK, such as in Morecambe Bay, where helicopter service flights go from Blackpool Airport.

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Within the UK “production of oil and gas will fall by up to 15 per cent a year unless there is rapid investment in new infrastructure,” the report found, a figure greater than the anticipated reduction in demand as the nation looks to go greener and use more renewable energy sources.

Centrica gas rig off MorecambeCentrica gas rig off Morecambe
Centrica gas rig off Morecambe

Mr Dornan, OEUK’s market intelligence manager, said: “The energy gap between what we produce ourselves and that which comes from other nations will keep growing unless we invest in exploration and production on the UK’s continental shelf."

He added that the “emissions generated by processing and transporting our own oil and gas are much lower than for imports”.

He said: “It is really important, it means the largest source of gas coming into the UK is no longer within the control of companies working in the UK, of the UK Government, of the UK regulators, of the UK industry.”

But Scottish Green economy spokeswoman and North East Scotland MSP Maggie Chapman said: “The oil and gas industry spent decades denying the climate crisis, and now they are simply ignoring it by attempting to double down on fossil fuel extraction.”

She added: “The UK Government should slap a windfall tax on the huge profits of these energy giants, not give them carte blanche to continue wrecking the planet and fleecing their customers.”