OIL industry regulator the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has stressed its commitment to developing the technical solutions needed to help meet Scotland’s and the UK’s net-zero ambitions.

It came yesterday in a key report on plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The OGA published the interim findings of its Energy Integration report detailing how the sector was working to reduce emissions from the operational production of oil and gas through platform electrification.

Today we have two big reports which both recognise the contribution the oil and gas industry can make to the UK and Scotland’s net-zero ambitions

It said integrating the offshore energy sector, including closer links between oil and gas and renewables, could reduce carbon emissions from production and in the longer term actively support the delivery of net-zero targets, through technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

OGUK upstream policy director, Mike Tholen, said: “Today we have two big reports which both recognise the contribution the oil and gas industry can make to the UK and Scotland’s net-zero ambitions.

“Partnership working between industries, governments and regulators will be critical to the scale of our success. As we look to a new year, OGUK will continue to seek support for industry’s Roadmap To 2035: A Blueprint For Net Zero.

“Enabling a safe and competitive industry that realises its full potential in the energy transition can only be good news for the jobs, communities and climate aspirations we support.

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“From reducing emissions from the operational production of oil and gas through electrifying offshore platforms, to helping other heavy-emitting sectors to decarbonise by developing carbon capture, usage and storage technologies at scale, our industry has the skills, capabilities and infrastructure to play a key role in developing solutions.”

The report looked at the first phase of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) Energy Integration project, led by the OGA, working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Crown Estate and Ofgem.

This considered the options available to help feed into a new strategic vision of the UKCS as an integrated energy basin.

The project considered how oil and gas infrastructure and capabilities can be leveraged for CCS, and to support renewable energy production and hydrogen generation, transportation and storage.

It found that multiple offshore integration concepts were technically feasible and would be viable options for helping to lower the oil and gas industry’s carbon footprint and decarbonising the UK economy.

The report stressed that opportunities for UKCS deployment were plentiful, diverse and location-specific.

Also, it said the UK has significant wind power potential, untapped carbon storage capacity, and extensive oil and gas infrastructure in place.

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All the concepts explored in the report can reduce carbon dioxide emissions, although they differed in terms of scalability and timeline.

The OGA said it fully supported the energy transition and welcomed the government’s legally binding commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.

It understood why there could be concern about UK domestic oil and gas production, but added that they would remain an important part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future, including under net-zero scenarios, where the UK was still expected to be a net importer.

Andy Samuel, OGA chief executive, said: “The energy transition and the UK’s drive to net-zero requires the oil and gas industry to embrace energy-efficient operations, whilst supporting the growth of CCS, offshore renewables, and hydrogen.

“Our report highlights the wide range and combination of solutions that can play a part, in line with the Committee for Climate Change’s recommendations.”