As sanctions on Russia lead to supply and price shocks, the British offshore energy industry representative body, Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), has urged the government to prioritize the production of national energy to protect consumers from these ramifications.
Offshore Energies UK – formerly Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) – issued its statement on Monday after a House of Commons briefing showed that in June 2022 the UK imported no oil, gas Where coal imports from Russia. According to UK trade statistics, this was “the third month in a row without importing Russian gas, but the first month (since 2000, when this data is available) without importing gas, oil or coal from Russia”.
Energy security concerns exacerbated by Russia’s attack on Ukraine led to the recent spike in global energy prices, which reversed the trend of weak demand and operating losses seen the previous year.
Bearing this in mind, the OEUK warned that global efforts to phase out Russian oil and gas will impact supply and prices for years to come, reiterating calls for a long-term energy strategy. which recognizes that 85% of UK households depend on gas. for heating.
Commenting on this, Will Websterresponsible for energy policy at the OEUK, remarked: “Consumers are only too aware of the impact that the reduction in Russian supplies has had on the world price of oil and gas, and the reality is that these effects will be here to stay for at least the medium term. This is why the UK must prioritize the energy produced here.
“Today, gas heats 85% of UK homes. In the short to medium term, governments must therefore support oil and gas in UK waters and carefully manage already declining production levels. At the same time, these same companies are also building the energy system of the future, including developing renewables to meet more of the UK’s electricity needs, while developing hydrogen and carbon capture which could play a role in home heating and industrial energy.
The House of Commons briefing comes as figures show the UK’s trade deficit has risen to its highest level as a percentage of GDP since records began. This is partly because the UK imports far more oil and gas than it exports.
“We see the reality of the complexity of transitioning to a low-carbon energy future, with a clear need to manage supply and demand as a whole and not in isolation. The transition is a necessity, it is why we continue to stress the need for consensus on a comprehensive, long-term energy strategy that prioritizes UK energy generation and accelerates the transition for industries and consumers,” concludes Webster.
To ease the cost of living crisis in the country, the British government recently imposed a one-off tax on oil and gas operators. However, Offshore Energies UK has warned of the perceived negative effects of this tax on new investment, saying it could already undermine major investment needed to keep Britain’s lights on.
In other OEUK-related news, the trade body recently revealed it is on the hunt for a new chief executive as its current chief is due to step down at the end of the year after nearly eight years. at this post.