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SUMMARY

OGA's analysis shows that domestic gas supply has less than half of the carbon footprint of imported LNG, its chairman said.

By Joseph Murphy

Exploration and production of oil and gas in the UK North Sea must continue if the country continues to meet its energy needs and ensure a successful transition to net zero, the chairman of upstream regulator Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), Tim Eggar, said on November 24.

Oil and gas today accounts for UK energy consumption, and the independent Climate Change Committee forecasts that they will continue to be needed for the country's heat, power and transport needs for the foreseeable future.

"If we need to be reminded of their importance to daily life, we only have to look back a matter of weeks, when we saw long queues at petrol stations and a gas crisis which brought the prospect of higher gas bills for millions of consumers," Eggar said at a conference in London.

OGA's analysis shows that domestic gas supply has less than half of the carbon footprint of imported LNG, Eggar said, "so it really makes no sense to be more reliant than we need to be on imports – particularly from countries with less to no commitment to reducing their emissions."

Under its North Sea Transition deal with the government, the UK oil and gas industry has committed to halving its emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050. Oil and gas producers must do even more to lower their emissions.

"We’re blessed with world class CO2 storage potential here in the UK. This is our chance to be world leading…There is a tremendous opportunity to meet not just the UK’s requirements for carbon removal, but to support the storage of carbon dioxide from the rest of Europe," Eggar said. "The success of CCS is going to depend on you – people who understand the rocks, understand the infrastructure, understand the risks and opportunities.”