The rhetoric of COP26 is now just rhetoric as Russia’s resource ransoming has given Europe a reality check, today Boris called in energy barons to discuss domestic energy security in the light of Putin’s stranglehold on European gas. Downing Street says they will also be meeting renewable and nuclear companies in the coming weeks. Oil and gas however were his first priority.
The government emphasises it remains committed to North Sea oil and the gas industry as key assets if the UK is to achieve greater energy independence – ever more crucial following the invasion of Ukraine and the consequent recent decision to end imports of Russian oil over the course of this year:
“The Prime Minister and CEOs discussed increasing investment in the North Sea oil and gas industry and boosting supply of domestic gas. This included how the UK can remove barriers facing investors and developers, and help projects come online more quickly. They agreed to work together going forwards to help accelerate this further.”
Steve Barclay, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Energy Minister Greg Hands, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke also joined the meeting at Downing Street. Those represented from the oil and gas industry included: the Oil and Gas Authority, Blackstone Energy Partners, Bluewater Energy, BP, Carlyle International Energy Partners, Equinor, Esso, Greenergy, Harbour Energy, Neptune Energy, Offshore Energies UK, Prax Group, TotalEnergies and Shell. All this is a welcome change from the frankly pie-in-the-sky rhetoric of COP26. Noticeably absent were onshore gas firm Caudrilla though…