URGENT action is needed to advance low carbon technologies which are critical to the Scottish and UK governments’ net zero ambitions, according to a new study.

It comes from the oil and gas sector’s leading industry body OGUK, and its Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero, which said the government and industry must work together as the energy landscape continues to change.

The report said they had to progress to the next stage five key projects across the UK which look to capture, transport and store carbon dioxide from heavy emitting industrial processes, including power plants. It also called for joint action to increase the potential for low carbon hydrogen to be used as a fuel to heat homes and power cars.

The recommendations came in OGUK’s second Energy Transition Outlook Report, which outlines progress achieved by the UK oil and gas sector over the past year to offer industry and economy-wide solutions towards reducing emissions.

However, its authors warn that the industry will have to earn its position in the changing energy world, with rapid action needed to ensuring that it transforms over the next 30 years while continuing to meet as much of the UK’s oil and gas needs from domestic resources.

The report findings showed the sector was in a “unique position” to lead in the development of carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS), with five projects being explored across the country.

It also said UK energy sector investment would have to double to achieve a decarbonised economy.

“There are several pathways for current oil and gas companies to follow in contributing towards a net-zero outcome for the UK,” said the report.

“They range from maintaining indigenous oil and gas production at a lower emissions intensity ... through to investments into alternative energy sources which are already happening.”

It highlighted work done by BP in testing technology for detecting methane, the main component of natural gas, and using data to build two-dimensional maps of emissions; Premier Oil trialling wave power generation using a device that constantly charges itself and streams data onshore; and Aker Solutions targeting 20% revenue from renewables and 25% revenue from low carbon technology by 2030.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, said the report showed the changing energy landscape and the opportunities and challenges it presented.

“With the launch of Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero, we were one of the first industrial sectors to set out credible plans to support the UK and Scottish Government net zero emissions,” she said. “Yet the oil and gas sector will have to earn its position in this new energy world, cutting its own emissions and working with governments and regulators to progress the five CCUS projects which now need to move forward into the next phase and developing hydrogen.

“As our report shows, there is lots of work to be done in a huge market which is only getting bigger as global demand for energy continues to grow. The Climate Change Committee report published at the beginning of this year noted CCUS was critical to our net zero ambitions. Our challenge, working with others including the OGTC’s Net Zero Solutions Centre, is to realise CCUS and other low carbon technologies as an opportunity for UK businesses.”