Oil and natural gas provide the energy source or raw material to make a wide range of products and plastics. In fact, it is nearly impossible to get through a day without using multiple products that started off either as oil or gas. Shampoo, toothpaste, contact lenses, shaving foam, lipstick, washing powder and clothing all contain petroleum products.
Natural gas currently provides more than 84% of our heating needs and around 40% of our electricity generation.
The majority of the UK’s domestic sources of natural gas have historically come from the North Sea since the early 1960s, with only about 1.5% coming from onshore. As the amount of gas coming from the North Sea is expected to decline significantly, by 2030 the UK will be buying at least 70% of its gas from outside the UK.
Gas is also important for balancing out the increasing levels of intermittent and inflexible low-carbon energy on the system.
Gas has a major role in bridging the gap between the current system and any future low carbon technologies.
The Government has put in place a strategy to try to reduce our reliance on natural gas for heating but this will take many years to develop as it involves not only new technologies but also modifications in behaviour.Gas, and therefore shale gas, has a major part to play in bridging the gap between the current system and any future low carbon technologies.
There is a continued and recognised role for oil and gas throughout the energy transition.
Benefits of indigenous oil and gas
The UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy has recognised the importance of UK oil and gas production. The national and local benefits of indigenous oil and gas supplies are clear and even more compelling in the context of the current energy crisis.
Domestic oil and gas provides;
Improved security of supply
Local and national taxation
Balance of payments benefits
High quality well paid employment
Lower pre-combustion CO2 emissions than imports
World leading regulation and compliance
Without indigenous oil and gas, the UK will simply ‘offshore’ its emissions, employment, and fiscal benefits and be at the mercy of international energy markets.