North Sea Transition Deal has cut oil and gas industry emissions

12 months after it began, the UK Government says a historic agreement to improve the environmental impact of energy production is yielding results. 

It has been one year since the landmark North Sea Transition Deal was signed, which aimed to support the oil and gas industry in decarbonising, while helping develop carbon capture projects and establish a hydrogen strategy for the UK. Now Downing Street has released a report outlining progress made since the start of the arrangement.

grayscale photography of oil rig

The deal is the first of its kind in a G7 nation, forms a significant part of plans to reach nationwide net zero by 2050, and has already led to an 11% reduction in overall emissions from oil and gas production compared with 2018. This is the equivalent to taking 1m cars off the road. A £1m electrification competition has also helped oil platforms dramatically lower their own emissions. 

Progress has been made in several other key areas of the agreement, including carbon capture, storage and usage, supply chain transformation, and people and skills. Meanwhile, the much-touted hydrogen strategy has also been set out, while two carbon capture clusters have been selected for deployment in the mid-2020s, which will be the first recipients of a new £1bn CCUS Infrastructure Fund. 

‘Since our ambitious North Sea Transition Deal was agreed a year ago, we have made great progress to support the oil and gas industry and ensure a transition which safeguards energy security, jobs and expertise,’ Energy Minister Greg Hands told the North Sea Transition Forum in Aberdeen. ‘We will continue to build on this progress and back our North Sea sector to maximise domestic production as we transition to cheap, clean, home-grown energy.’

‘It’s encouraging to see just how much progress we’ve made in the year since the North Sea Transition Deal was signed. Emissions are falling, we’re making advances in carbon capture and striding ahead in the production of energy from sustainable means such as wind and hydrogen,’ added Malcolm Offord, UK government Minister for Scotland. ‘We’re proud to be working with the oil and gas industry to harness the great skills in the North Sea to sustain high-quality jobs, create new opportunities and ensure security of our domestic energy supply.’ 

In 2020 a group of researchers was awarded a ‘major funding boost‘ to investigate the impact on marine life of structures in the North Sea, including oil and gas infrastructure. 

Image credit: Warner





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