Europe

Brexit Britain to import 70 percent of gas by 2030 after North Sea reserves drop

Nicola Sturgeon challenged on Cambo North Sea oil field

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Almost three-quarters of Britain’s gas is set to come from abroad by the end of this decade. The total is then set to rise to 80 percent by 2040 and 85 percent by 2050.

The figures are based on forecasts made by the Oil and Gas Authority and estimates from the Climate Change Committee.

Further analysis was completed by the Financial Times.

The news comes as the UK faces pressure from environmental activists to reduce its dependency on North Sea projects.

Last year, a spokesman from Greenpeace UK said: “Both the Westminster and Scottish Government now need to end support for new oil and gas infrastructure.”

Back in December, Shell opted to pull out of the Cambo oilfield.

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The move had been considered the “death-knell” for exploration in the North Sea.

However, six projects in the region were given approval in 2021.

An additional 10 await approval in 2022.

Despite vowing to go carbon neutral, the UK Government claims it will not end drilling immediately.

But the International Energy Agency has suggested all new oil and gas projects must be halted to reach these net zero targets.

Ministers remain sceptical about enforcing a blanket ban while they continue to increase renewable energy production.

Their focus instead looks set to require new oil and gas licences passing a “climate compatibility” test.

Energy Minister Greg Hands, 56, said: “Flicking a switch and turning off our domestic source of gas overnight would put energy security, British jobs and industries at risk and we would be even more dependent on imports.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, 41, is also said to have put pressure on Cabinet colleagues to fire up gas fields in the North Sea.

Mr Sunak said: “We have resources in the North Sea, and we want to encourage investment in that because we’re going to need ­natural gas as part of our ­transition to getting to net zero.”

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BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney, 52, said earlier this week that the UK needs “more gas, not less”.

BP recorded profits of £9.5billion in 2021.

However, energy prices look set to increase by up to 56 percent in April.

The Labour Party have suggested introducing a tax raid on these companies.

Mr Looney said: “A windfall tax isn’t probably going to incentivise more investment.”

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