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Grant Shapps vows to ‘max out’ UK’s North Sea oil and gas reserves

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in the Financial Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news:UK Energy Minister, Grant Shapps, recently declared the government's intent to fully exploit the remaining North Sea oil and gas reserves, a move deemed consistent with the UK's 2050 net-zero carbon goal
• However, this stance has incited a dispute, as Labour leader Keir Starmer vowed to withhold new North Sea licenses if his party gains power

🔭 The context: Shapps defends this strategy by stating that even if all potential North Sea contracts are used to their maximum potential, the production rate will slow down due to the maturing basin
• He believes that relying on foreign hydrocarbons during the transition to a greener economy may lead to higher carbon emissions

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: The move to continue exploiting fossil fuel resources is controversial, given the urgent need for significant emission reductions to mitigate climate change
• This decision highlights the tension between short-term energy needs and long-term climate goals

⏭️ What's next: It remains to be seen how this strategy will unfold and what its implications will be for the UK's energy security, environmental impact, and progress toward its net zero target

💬 One quote: “There is no simple choice between oil and gas on the one hand and renewables on the other. The reality is that to keep the lights on and grow our economy, we need both.” (David Whitehouse, chief executive of Offshore Energies UK)

📈 One stat: According to Grant Shapps, even if the UK granted every conceivable license to the North Sea, the country’s oil production would decline at 7% per year, a rate twice that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recommendations

Click for more news covering the latest on oil & gas

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