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 New licensing will ‘sustain the momentum’ for North Sea: Power Minister
February 13, 2023

New licensing will ‘sustain the momentum’ for North Sea: Power Minister

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New North Sea licensing this yr is a part of the UK Authorities’s “ongoing” dedication to the sector, the power minister has mentioned.

Nevertheless, Greg Palms acknowledged that the transfer is a part of pondering forward to the longer term and “gained’t produce a molecule of fuel or a drop of oil this yr” as households face spiralling power prices.

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), newly-minted from the Oil and Fuel Authority (OGA), confirmed yesterday its intention to supply a brand new North Sea exploration spherical this yr.

It comes because the UK seeks options to the present worth disaster – with payments to extend twice between now and October – and a method of lowering reliance on Russian provide.

However any new fields will take years to be developed, so Mr Palms was requested how this may assist.

He mentioned: “The very first thing to say is you’ve at all times bought to be pondering of the current and the longer term. You’re proper, a brand new licensing spherical gained’t produce a molecule of fuel or a drop of oil this yr, nevertheless it’s that dedication on an ongoing foundation to the sector.

“What we’re seeing now are extra fields coming on-line from earlier licensing rounds. You reap what you sow.”

The minister was talking to Power Voice in Aberdeen to mark one yr because the signing of the North Sea Transition Deal, and famous a run of latest fields coming on-line not too long ago corresponding to Saturn Banks final week.

Others like Harbour Power’s Tolmount fuel improvement is quickly anticipated to come back on-line.

“It’s essential sustain the momentum. It would profit the provision chain, it’s going to profit jobs.

“There’s 100,000 jobs, one thing of that order, in oil and fuel, significantly in north-east Scotland. We have to guarantee that these jobs proceed as a result of we’d like them for the transition, we’d like these abilities for the transition.”

The go to additionally comes as eyes flip to Westminster forward of the publication of a UK power provide technique, anticipated this week, and the Spring Assertion on Wednesday.

On the latter, Mr Palms mentioned the Chancellor has been clear in his opposition to a windfall tax which might “hammer funding simply at a time after we want robust and continued funding within the North Sea”.

The go to additionally comes because the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a timeline for improvement of the Scottish Carbon Seize Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) cluster after it misplaced out on a share of a £1bn UK Authorities fund in October.

The undertaking is anticipated to be chosen for “Observe 2” nonetheless a timeline has not but been made clear.

Mr Palms mentioned: “We’re going to have extra to say later this yr on Observe 2 sequencing. We’re nonetheless engaged on Observe 1 part 2 a part of the proposal in the mean time.

“However Observe 2 we’ll have extra to say definitely earlier than the tip of the yr and I’d hope sooner.”

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