Calls for a “reasoned debate” on the future of the North Sea – Daily Business

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Statements “affect investor confidence”

Business leaders urged politicians to think carefully before calling for an end to oil and gas drilling, which has shaken investor confidence and put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

In a joint open letter to political party leaders, the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce called for a “more reasoned debate” on the future role of oil and gas in the mix. British energy company.

The move was backed by industry body Oil and Gas UK and follows remarks from politicians and activists calling for an end to oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.

It also comes after Shell and Siccar Point, which had jointly planned to develop the Cambo field in the West Shetlands, withdrew from the project.

The letter said: ‘Statements calling for an end to new exploration and production have shaken investor confidence and put tens of thousands of jobs – as well as the economic well-being of entire communities across the UK – in danger.

“They also threaten the very basis of a just and inclusive transition at the most crucial moment in our collective journey towards a zero-net society.

“A transition, by definition, is a change of state over time. It is one of the most complex challenges we have faced in our history and it does not lend itself to a simple “Who is good, who is bad?” Who is green, who is not? approach. To characterize it this way is too simplistic.

“We must now take a break and allow a reasoned debate on our energy future.

“At the same time, we urge politicians to think carefully about their public statements on oil and gas and the impact they have on investments in the industry. We must not create an unfavorable political environment at this crucial moment in our energy transition. “

The letter, which is also signed by 58 leading business and civic leaders in Aberdeen, highlights energy security concerns and the additional carbon footprint that importing more energy from the United States would bring. foreigner.

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He adds, “By 2050, the International Energy Agency predicts that global demand for oil and gas will drop by 80%, but even then 20 million barrels per day will be needed to meet our needs.

“Therefore, there is no current future scenario where there is no need for oil and gas. During this time, it continues to be needed for travel, heating and electricity for their homes and for the manufacture of many everyday goods.

“That leaves us with two options; produce this at the national level, with full control over the regulatory environment in which it is extracted; or import an increasing amount of our energy, with the heavier carbon footprint that its transport from other parts of the world entails.

“The latter makes little economic sense, and even less environmental sense.”

Russell Borthwick, Managing Director of the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: leaders it’s time to have an honest and frank debate on the role oil and gas plays and will continue to play in our society .

“We have a common interest in achieving net zero as quickly as possible, but over the past few months our region has been presented as part of the problem rather than the solution.

“The reality is that the skills, people and experience anchored in North East Scotland have quietly paved the way for the UK to move towards its net zero goals, without any intervention from COP26.”

Deirdre Michie, Managing Director of OGUK, which represents the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, said: “Businesses join the public in supporting our calls for a planned and fair transition to our climate goals.

“Right now, we need oil and gas for 73% of our total energy, and therefore the transition to carbon neutrality will be a huge and complex task.

“We can only achieve this with careful planning on the part of policy makers who think long term to develop clear government policies which will then be supported by all politicians working together in the national interest.” “

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