North Sea Drilling Won’t Boost UK Energy Security – ECIU

The UK government’s plan to grant new licences to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea is unlikely to bolster the country’s energy security, according to analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). The non-profit noted that 99% of fossil fuel-based road and aviation fuels used in the UK in 2030 will be sourced internationally, irrespective of whether new North Sea licences are granted. In 2022, just 13% of car and aviation fuels were generated domestically, ECIU said, adding that production from the North Sea has been in decline for years, with new licences expected to increase the amount of domestically produced oil by less than 1% by the end of the decade. The second reading of the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill was scheduled to take place on 8 January in the House of Commons. In protest of the bill, last week, the government’s former Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Chris Skidmore, resigned the Conservative Party Whip, with plans to stand down as an MP as soon as possible. “We cannot expect other countries to phase out their fossil fuels when at the same time we continue to issue new licences or to open new oil fields,” Skidmore said in his statement. “It is a tragedy that the UK has been allowed to lose its climate leadership, at a time when our businesses, industries, universities and civil society organisations are providing first class leadership and expertise to so many across the world, inspiring change for the better.” 

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