The OGA is fully committed to enabling the achievement of the UK government's commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The OGA are working with government and industry on the vital role that the oil and gas industry must play in the UK energy transition – in driving to net zero carbon across the UKCS as quickly as possible.
Government forecasts show that oil and gas will remain an important part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future, including under net zero.
Managing the declining production and maximising value from the UKCS as cleanly and efficiently as possible to meet this demand - as long as it exists - from domestic production also has broader economic benefits including jobs and future exchequer revenues.
The OGA has therefore put net zero considerations at the heart of its core business, including:
- Having renewed its Strategy to integrate net zero
- The inclusion of net zero as a key theme in benchmarking to drive performance improvement
- Leading a study into offshore energy integration to build closer links between oil and gas and renewables and reduce carbon emissions from oil and gas production
- As the licensing authority for carbon storage, stewarding projects through development and supporting the government’s CCS deployment pathway
The OGA also welcomed the North Sea Transition Deal, which was announced in March 2021, and which supports the industry’s transition to clean, green energy and a secure future for high-skilled oil and gas workers and the supply chain.
In September 2020 the Government carried out a review of the policy on licensing for North Sea oil and gas to ensure it was compatible with climate change objectives. Further details can be found here.
Ahead of COP26 in 2021, the OGA has challenged the offshore oil and gas industry to:
- Commit to clear measurable greenhouse gas targets, with real progress on methane.
- Show progress on carbon capture and storage, including work having started on major projects.
- Demonstrate measurable progress on energy integration opportunities – for example, an electrification project.
- An acceleration of the move to ensure there is a diverse array of skills and people for the long-term energy offshore and supply industry.
In the midst of the serious threats facing the sector, resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent impact on commodity prices, we have not lost sight of the importance of achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions. We are continuing our programme to integrate net zero considerations into our work because we know that the oil and gas industry can play a significant and leading role in helping the UK achieve this. However, sensitive to the other immediate priorities facing the industry, we will implement this important net zero programme in a way which is both considerate and flexible.