ABERDEEN, UK – Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has called for the UK offshore industry to move faster in helping the government achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The authority said its established goal of maximizing economic recovery of the UK’s remaining oil and gas can be compatible with the transition to Net Zero, and the industry has the skills, technology, and capital needed to devise suitable solutions.
But the industry should go also go further in reducing its own carbon footprint, the OGA warned, or risk losing its social license to operate.
The OGA has opened to consultation proposed revisions to its strategy. These and concepts assessed in the UKCS energy integration project could make a significant contribution to achieving Net Zero, it claims, both through carbon capture and storage (CCS) and CCS plus hydrogen.
Forecasts suggest oil and gas will remain integral to the UK’s energy mix in the run-up to Net Zero, so managing declining North Sea production remains critical, alongside efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reducing reliance on hydrocarbon imports.
The OGA is working with government and industry to progress carbon footprint reduction initiatives such as electrification and energy efficiency, as well as other solutions such as CCS and hydrogen.
Dr Andy Samuel, OGA chief executive, said: “There are major issues facing the oil and gas industry - the global pandemic and the rapid fall in commodity prices - and we’re working closely with the government to safeguard the energy supply and as best as possible the thousands of jobs and skills which deliver it, in the face of these issues…
“The government’s commitment to reaching Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 provides an opportunity to the oil and gas industry, which should be well placed to play a leading role.
“To support this drive, we are now reviewing our strategy. This is further complemented with our other work such as: benchmarking flaring and venting data to drive performance improvements; supporting work to unlock energy integration opportunities; and supporting CCS and hydrogen projects.”
The revised strategy also proposes changes to Supporting Obligations concerning development, asset stewardship, technology, and decommissioning and introduces a new supporting obligation in relation to CCS.