Prime Minister’s commitment to future licensing rounds, subject to climate compatibility tests, aims to slow the decline in domestic production, ensuring energy security and reducing reliance on imports.
With projections showing around a quarter of the UK’s energy demand will still be met by oil and gas in 2050, the move also seeks to safeguard over 200,000 jobs and protect the economy.
The North Sea Transition Authority, responsible for regulating the sector, is currently conducting the 33rd offshore oil and gas licensing round, with over 100 licences expected to be awarded.
“Even when we have reached net zero in 2050, a quarter of our energy needs will come from oil and gas. But there are those who would rather that it come from hostile states than from the supplies we have here at home.”
Philip Evans of Greenpeace UK Climate criticised the government’s new oil and gas announcement, labeling it a “cynical political ploy” that could harm the climate.
He expressed concerns about relying on fossil fuels, stating that it would negatively impact energy security, cost of living and climate.
Evans questioned the benefit of North Sea drilling, suggesting that the oil and gas extracted would only benefit oil companies rather than the public.