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UK North Sea Transition Deal sets out emissions timetable

UK O&G investment to top £16 billion by 2030 as industry and government strive to reduce emissions and foster clean energy

Dominic Ellis
|Mar 24|magazine7 min read

The UK oil and gas sector is to receive £16 billion by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions in a transition deal designed to foster clean energy.

The sector deal - the first of its kind by any G7 country - between the UK government and oil and gas industry is designed to support up to 40,000 jobs and the supply chain through this transition by harnessing the industry’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and private investment potential to exploit new and emerging technologies such as hydrogen production, Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, offshore wind and decommissioning.

Key commitments in the North Sea Transition Deal include:

  • the sector setting early targets to reduce emissions by 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2027 and committing to cut emissions by 50% by 2030
  • joint government and oil and gas sector investment of up to £16 billion by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions. This includes up to £3 billion to replace fossil fuel-based power supplies on oil and gas platforms with renewable energy, up to £3 billion on Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, and up to £10 billion for hydrogen production
  • by 2030, the sector will voluntarily commit to ensuring that 50% of its offshore decommissioning and new energy technology projects will be provided by local businesses, helping to anchor jobs to the UK
  • the appointment of an Industry Supply Chain Champion who will support the coordination of local growth and job opportunities with other sectors, such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage and offshore wind

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "We will not leave oil and gas workers behind in the United Kingdom’s irreversible shift away from fossil fuels. Through this landmark sector deal, we will harness the skills, capabilities and pent-up private investment potential of the oil and gas sector to power the green industrial revolution, turning its focus to the next-generation clean technologies the UK needs to support a green economy."

Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, Dr Andy Samuel said this deal marks "an exciting new chapter" for the North Sea, confirming energy transition in action.

"As long as oil and gas remain part of the UK’s energy mix, they must be produced more cleanly and in line with net zero. Our role includes monitoring and holding industry to account on its emissions reduction performance," he said, adding it is supporting projects like Acorn, Hynet, Net Zero Teeside and Zero Carbon Humber, along with the Energy Transition Zone and the Global Underwater Hub.

James Allen, Chief Operations Director at energy workforce solutions provider, Airswift, said the engineering talent in the UK is the lifeblood of our vital energy industries and it is critical that we retain and reskill this talent as we accelerate the sector's decarbonisation. 

"Now is the time for energy businesses to adjust their outlook when finding the talent to make these ambitions a reality," he said. "The sector needs a skills first, sector second mindset that enables business to look past what industry a candidate has worked in and instead look at where their skills can be applied. This will be key to unlocking a low carbon future for the UK.”

North Sea Transition Deal
Energy Digital magazine