Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has called on the UK Government to ensure that it continues to support the production of energy in the UK North Sea.
OEUK represents a range of organisations engaged in North Sea energy operations, from large oil and lubricant producers like Shell and ExxonMobil, to contractors and other associates. It has urged politicians to support its goal of boosting domestic energy supplies in the long-term, saying that unless new oil and gas projects are developed in UK waters, energy generation may be compromised in the future.
The call comes amid mounting criticism of record profits at some oil and gas firms. Earlier in the year, the Government brought in an additional 25% Energy Profits Levy, commonly referred to as a windfall tax, on North Sea hydrocarbons producers. This could be largely offset by investment in new domestic energy projects, but some have called for this relief to be scrapped, so the higher receipts could be used to offset domestic energy bills.
Mike Tholen, Sustainability Director at OEUK, said, however:
“If we are to continue our efforts to protect UK gas supplies, which remains the backbone of our energy mix for electricity, heating and industrial processes, we need politicians of all parties to support energy produced here in the UK with all the benefits that brings for taxes, energy security and jobs.”
He added that failing to maintain domestic gas production would further tighten supplies, which is something the country cannot afford to let happen in the current context.