The leading representative body for the UK offshore energy industry has urged government to prioritize the domestic production of energy. It comes after a House of Commons briefing showed that in June 2022, the UK imported no oil, gas or coal imports from Russia. It said that, according to UK trade statistics this was “the third month in a row with no Russian gas imports, but the first month (since 2000 when this data is available back to) with no gas, oil or coal imports from Russia.”
Offshore Energies UK warned that global efforts to remove Russia’s oil and gas will cause supply and therefore price implications for years to come, repeating its calls for a long term energy strategy which recognizes today, 85% of UK households rely on gas for heating.
The House of Commons briefing also comes as figures show the UK’s trade deficit reached its highest level as a share of GDP since records began. This is caused in part because the UK imports much more oil and gas than it exports.
The production of oil and gas in UK waters continues to decline, with industry now meeting half of domestic gas needs and the equivalent of more than 80% of oil.
Commenting, OEUK Energy Policy Manager Will Webster said:
“Consumers are all too aware of the impact cutting Russian supplies has had on the global price of oil and gas, and the reality is these effects will be here to stay for at least the medium term.
“This is why the UK must prioritize energy produced here. Today gas heats 85% of UK homes so in the short and medium-term, governments must 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 expanding renewables to meet more of the UK’s electricity needs, while also developing hydrogen and carbon capture which could play a role in domestic heating and industrial power.
“We are seeing the reality of how complicated the transition to a lower carbon energy future will be, with a clear need to manage supply and demand as a whole and not in isolation. The transition is a necessity, which is why we continue to emphasize the need for consensus on a long term and comprehensive energy strategy which prioritizes production of energy in the UK and accelerates the transition for industries and consumers.”