UK offshore industry association expresses concern about proposed ban on new oil and gas licences

Cygnus Alpha platform North Sea
The Cygnus Alpha gas production platform in the southern North SeaOffshore Energies UK

UK non-profit industry association Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) said in a statement that it has congratulated Sir Keir Starmer on the recent General Election result, with the representative body expected to formally acknowledge this in engagements with the new government in the coming days. OEUK said it is committed to working with the new government on the next steps to a homegrown energy transition, to safeguard energy security, jobs and skills, and create an "irresistible investment environment" in the UK.

However, OEUK warned that many of the industry’s skilled people and investors remain deeply concerned about the Labour Party's proposals for a further windfall tax on homegrown oil and gas production and to end new oil and gas licences in UK waters. The association said such measures "would not create the investment conditions the UK needs to deliver the homegrown energy transition needed to kickstart economic growth."

OEUK said the UK offshore energy industry is set to invest £200 billion (US$260 billion) over the next decade in domestic energy projects. The association remarked that the jobs and secure homegrown energy offered by the UK’s unique mix of oil and gas, wind, hydrogen and carbon capture technologies "offer an exciting future," but the industry needs renewed confidence in order to invest.

David Whitehouse, Chief Executive of OEUK, said that these policies, if poorly managed and without industry input, will threaten jobs and undermine the decarbonisation of the UK economy. He added that the new Labour government must follow through on assurances to work in partnership with the sector, listen to skilled people, and ensure "no one is left behind in the UK’s energy transition."

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