Is delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions consistent with maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum (MER UK)?

The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) thinks so, and has launched a consultation. OGA intends to impose a new obligation on the owners and operators of petroleum licences and infrastructure - in delivering MER UK, they must take appropriate steps to assist the Secretary of State in meeting the net zero target.

The key messages in the consultation document include the following:

  1. Meeting the net zero target is an absolute necessity and must be integrated in everything OGA does.
  2. The oil and gas industry should go considerably faster and further in reducing its own carbon footprint including through the electrification of offshore installations and rigorously applying good oilfield practice and practices from other industrial sectors.
  3. The oil & gas industry can play a critical role in delivering net zero for the UK as a whole. The industry is well positioned to use its unique skills, expertise and infrastructure to deliver carbon capture and storage as well as supporting the development of the hydrogen economy.
  4. Carbon capture and storage is essential to tackling climate change.
  5. Maximising UK production reduces reliance on imports and their associated carbon footprint.
  6. OGA is sensitive to the other immediate priorities facing the industry, and will implement this programme in a way which is both considerate and flexible.

The consultation refers to a number of new supporting obligations, such as the obligation to consider the carbon capture and storage potential for infrastructure when preparing cessation of production plans and the obligation to permit access to carbon capture and storage infrastructure on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The 12 week consultation opened on 6 May and runs until 29 July 2020. The OGA consultation can be accessed by clicking here.

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Oil & Gas