The UK has opened a new license cycle for businesses searching for oil and gas in the North Sea. Up to 100 exploration licenses are expected to be granted, covering about 900 areas made available for exploration. International climate scientists disagree with the decision, arguing that fossil fuel projects should be scaled back. Licensing for additional oil and gas exploration in the North Sea has opened. The government says there will be an environmental “benefit” to increased production. Opponents argue that the new reserves won’t be substantial enough to affect the cost that UK consumers pay for energy significantly.
The UK has opened a new license cycle for businesses searching for oil and gas in the North Sea.
With up to 100 exploration licenses expected to be granted, about 900 areas are being made available for exploration.
International climate scientists disagree with the decision, arguing that fossil fuel projects should be scaled back rather than increased.
According to them, no new projects can be undertaken if there is any possibility of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international organization for climate science, have both expressed support for this idea.
Climate change: UN chief calls more financing for fossil fuels “delusional.”
Would a more excellent supply of UK gas genuinely lower prices?
According to Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, the additional exploration will increase energy security and promote skilled jobs.
Additionally, proponents of additional exploration say that it is consistent with the government’s legal obligation to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. According to them, fossil fuel from the North Sea will take the place of imported fuel and have a smaller carbon footprint during production and transportation.
Eight hundred ninety-eight blocks, or license areas, in the North Sea are being made available.
Making the most of our domestic energy resources is more crucial than ever in light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, according to Mr. Rees-Mogg.
According to the North Sea Transition Authority, the licensing procedure will be expedited in areas of the North Sea that are close to existing infrastructure and have the potential to be developed swiftly. It claims that while the delay between discovery and initial production has historically been close to five years, it is now getting less.
The oil business and protesters concur that the reserves won’t be substantial enough to affect UK consumers’ cost of energy significantly.
Philip Evans, an energy transition campaigner with Greenpeace UK, declared that the government’s energy policy “benefits fossil fuel companies and no one else.”
“New oil and gas licences won’t reduce energy costs for poor people this winter or any winter, nor will they offer energy security in the medium term.”
Approximately 20 years ago, North Sea oil and gas production peaked. Since then, the UK has switched from producing more oil and gas than it requires to importing it from other nations.
The oil and gas industry’s representative organisation, Offshore Energies UK, estimates that the North Sea still contains up to 15 billion barrels of oil. A statement stated that there would be an environmental “benefit” and that new fields would be less polluting than their forerunners.
The government’s “Climate Compatibility Checkpoint,” which “aims to ensure” that additional exploration is in line with the UK’s climate objectives, was published before the decision to open a licensing round.
The checkpoint criteria consider the international comparison of oil and gas production emissions but ignore the carbon dioxide released while burning oil and gas.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network