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As much as 80% of the crude oil produced in the UK section of the North Sea is getting exported, The Guardian has reported, citing research from Global Witness.
The report suggests that the fact could be used to pressure the government into rethinking its plan to boost oil and gas production in the North Sea in order to enhance the country’s energy security—as stated by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year.
Per the report, over the last twenty years the rate of exports for UK oil had gone up from 60% to 80%. In part, at least, this was the result of shutdowns of refining capacity in the country, The Guardian noted.
The Global Witness research comes a week after another organization, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said that new projects, such as Rosebank, will add less than 1% of the petrol used in the UK's cars within seven years but will come at a high reputational cost for a country that’s currently regarded as one of the continent’s green energy leaders.
“It doesn't help with security of supply, because oil and gas are part of international markets and 80 per cent of the oil is exported and processed overseas and who knows where it ends up as fuels,” Dr. Simon Cran-McGreehin, head of analysis at ECIU, told The National at the time.
The Sunak government’s plans to increase oil and gas production at home has riled up climate change advocates in the UK, who argue this is unnecessary and will only worsen the country’s carbon footprint.
In December, two environmentalist groups filed a lawsuit against one new North Sea project—the Rosebank development—arguing that the field would be incompatible with the UK’s net-zero goal and that the government hasn’t factored in Scope 3 emissions when giving the green light to the plan.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com