Oil and Gas investment called to ease energy crunch - 18/11/22

With the increased cost of living, oil and gas producers have called out for more industry investment as to mitigate the rises and ease the energy crunch.

Due to wholesale energy costs for energy suppliers rising, gas, oil and energy prices have been predicted to rise 80% as a reflection of these adjustments. Not only has this caused one of the worst energy crises in decades but has caused Britain’s oil and gas industry body to call for new drilling licenses in the North Sea and rapid investment in the sector overall.

With winter forthcoming and many British residents worried or unable to pay for the hiked prices, newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss has promised to immediately act. Truss’ immediate idea is to extract more oil and gas from the North Sea, which falls in line with what the industry is calling for.

Truss views the current climate as one we can overcome, explaining, "I am confident that together we can ride out the storm. We can rebuild our economy, and we can become the modern brilliant Britain that I know we can be…I know that we have what it takes to tackle those challenges. Of course, it won't be easy, but we can do it…"

Many in the oil and gas industry seem to welcome Truss’ plans, as they explain that the best way to avoid higher price rises, is to invest in the industry itself. Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), an industry body for offshore oil, gas, hydrogen, and wind producers have warned that whilst global prices will rise over this coming winter, they may remain for at least three years.

Ross Dornan, OEUK’s market intelligence manager was quoted saying, "The best way for the UK to ensure secure gas and oil supplies is by increased investment in its own resources…"

Without new investment, it is estimated that Britain will have to import around 80% of its gas by 2030 and up to 70% of its oil, this is an increase of 60% and 20% respectively of the current importation percentages.

Although many argue that the country should focus on reaching the intended net-zero plan by 2050 to mitigate the price rises and diminish dependency on oil and gas, Head of Science, Policy and Research at Friends of the Earth, Mike Childs reported that although focusing on net-zero solutions as a long term aid is welcome, in the current climate, it won’t do anything to ease cost of living, “…as new licenses take many years to develop…"

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