Far from threatening the UK’s net zero goals, all companies operating in the North Sea, including private equity and state-backed overseas oil and gas companies, help to provide this country’s energy security while working to reduce their carbon emissions, as set out in the recent North Sea transition deal that our industry agreed with the government (Foreign control of North Sea oil licences threatens UK’s net zero goal, 29 July).

Many of these companies are also involved in low-carbon projects that are critical to the UK achieving net zero by 2050. For example, Neptune Energy is progressing a hydrogen and carbon capture project, and Harbour Energy, which has grown from private equity roots, is part of the Acorn hydrogen and carbon capture and storage project off the north coast of Scotland.

All companies operating in the North Sea are highly regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority, the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning, and the Health and Safety Executive, so there is comprehensive safeguarding in place across the UK basin.

The UK offshore oil and gas industry was actually one of the first to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and we are harnessing our 50 years of energy expertise to also help reduce the emissions of other UK industries.

Our sector is therefore a major asset in ensuring the UK meets its Paris agreement commitment to limit the planet’s global average temperature rise to below 1.5C.
Deirdre Michie
Chief executive officer, Oil & Gas UK

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