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UK offshore oil and gas industry outline plans to cut emissions by half in next decade
The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has committed to halving operational emissions in the next decade, confirming its pathway to becoming a net zero emissions basin by 2050.
A report published by industry body OGUK, The pathway to net zero: Production emissions targets, outlines how targets will be achieved through changes to operations, progressive reductions in flaring and venting, and major capital investment programmes aimed at using electricity rather than gas, to power offshore facilities.
The targets are a key part of a transformational sector deal that industry is now formally discussing with the UK government. With jobs, the supply chain and energy communities at its core, the sector deal will consider how the UK’s oil and gas industry can support a green recovery. This could see the sector support wider UK efforts to decarbonise, using its skills and infrastructure to develop critical carbon-cutting solutions such as industrial scale carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) and the use of hydrogen for heating and heavy transport.
UK Minister for Energy Kwasi Kwarteng commented: ‘The offshore oil and gas sector’s commitment to halving operational emissions over the next decade is a welcome step for an industry that has a vital role to play in our energy transition in the years to come. The UK government will continue to work tirelessly with all partners to deliver a dynamic sector deal. This will further support the industry in becoming more sustainable, as we work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050.’
Report author and OGUK Emissions Improvement Manager Louise O’Hara Murray said:
‘These targets would remove over 9mn tCO2eq greenhouse gas emissions from our operations over the next decade; the same as taking nearly two million cars off the road for a year. Each year we will publicly show progress against our commitments on a sector-wide basis. The [targets] have been developed with industry following a detailed assessment of the measures needed to deliver them. They consider changes to operations, progressive reductions in flaring and venting and major capital investment programmes to decarbonise production operations.’
‘Many of the major capital investment projects which will help our sector to decarbonise, including the powering of assets with electricity instead of hydrocarbons, the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen both on and offshore, will need to be developed at scale to help other industries accelerate their own efforts to reduce emissions,’ she added.