Wireline Issue 52 Winter 2021

Emissions fall 10% in a year

Emissions from the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry fell by the equivalent of 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, a 10% reduction on the year before. Efficiency improvements and reduced flaring and venting accounted for nearly half, while the rest were due to the pandemic. In its 2021 Energy Transition Outlook, OGUK estimates that emissions from the production, transport and processing of oil and gas in the UK fell to the equivalent of 17.1m tonnes of CO2 in 2020. This compares with the 2018 figure of 18.9m tonnes (5 percent of the UK’s national emissions). The OGUK report coincided with the UK Government’s Net Zero Carbon Strategy,

setting out how the country might cut emissions while growing the economy. The reductions are in line with the sector’s ambitious commitments under the North Sea Transition Deal, in which the industry committed to reduce emissions 10% by 2025, 25% by 2027, and 50% by 2030. OGUK sustainability director Mike Tholen, describing the reduction as “just the beginning of our journey,” said he expected faster reductions post-2023 as industry initiatives had an increasing impact, supported by broader climate initiatives. “We need a managed and orderly transition to a lower-carbon energy system, and during this period society will continue to use oil and gas,” he said.

Government launches upstream checkpoint The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published two major documents in the dying days of 2021: the Carbon Compatibility Checkpoint consultation for new upstream licences; and a business plan for companies to engage in CO2 transport and storage. In September 2020, BEIS asked officials to consider if the continued award of licences for oil and gas exploration was consistent with the nation’s carbon budget, its nationally determined contribution (NDC) and its hope to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The scope extended to the economy, including jobs, tax revenues and economic contribution and energy security. The government decided to introduce a “checkpoint” before a licensing round is offered, and is now consulting on the design of that checkpoint. Views are to be submitted by the end of February 2022. The government also published its draft business plan for CO2 transport and storage companies. It believes that the two activities should be done by the same company with

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