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The UK government has vowed to protect up to 40,000 oil and gas jobs in the North Sea during the country’s transition to a net-zero economy, which will involve shrinking oil and gas production.
The oil and gas industry has, in turn, vowed to reduce emissions from its activities by 10 percent over the next five years and by 25 percent by 2027. By 2030, emissions should be reduced by 50 percent. This will involve an investment of some $22 billion (16 billion pounds), which will be shared by the industry and the government. The investment will comprise replacing fossil fuel-derived offshore platform power supplies with power from renewable sources, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen production.
In a statement, the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy said, “The sector deal between the UK government and oil and gas industry will support workers, businesses, and the supply chain through this transition by harnessing the industry’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and private investment potential to exploit new and emerging technologies such as hydrogen production, Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, offshore wind and decommissioning.”
As part of the deal, the department said, the government will work with the industry to train new talent for a lower-carbon future and to decarbonize what oil and gas production is still active in the North Sea “in preparation for a net zero future by 2050.”
What’s more, the statement read, the deal between the government and the industry will seek to foster an attractive business environment that will bring companies from other industries to the UK.
Meanwhile, thanks to the deal, some 60 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions should be cut from the oil and gas industry’s total by 2030, of which 15 million tons from oil and gas production is on the UK continental shelf. The industry accounts for 3.5 percent of the UK’s total emissions.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.