The U.K. needs to exploit oil and gas resources in the North Sea to compete with emerging economies, U.K. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said Tuesday at an industry conference.
“We need to act quickly,” to boost offshore investment in maturing North Sea oil and gas, Wicks said at a conference held by the U.K. Offshore Operators Association, or UKOOA.
Additionally, Wicks called for investment in brownfield sites and the development of the west Shetlands area. He also wants to encourage investment by creating a more transparent commercial framework; all key points of the U.K.’s recent energy review.
The minister also stressed the need to diversify the U.K.’s energy supply to include fossil fuels, nuclear, renewables, new technologies and imports.
“We must continue to push for more market liberalization internationally, and strengthen the E.U. Emissions Trading Scheme,” Wicks said.
But domestic supply remained a major concern.
“Predictions that by 2020 we might be importing 80% of our total gas requirements only intensify the spotlight on the need to fully tap indigenous resources,” Wicks said.
The U.K. still has as much as 15 to 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent left to produce. By the end of this year, its cumulative oil and gas output will have reached around 36.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent.