Monday, June 17, 2024

Next UK government ‘has 100 days to save 100,000 North Sea jobs’

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The next UK government will have just 100 days to save 100,000 jobs in the North Sea energy sector, as companies consider pulling investment from the UK.

That’s according to the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, whose 39th Energy Transition Report shows a sharp decline in work across production, exploration and renewables, as investors await the outcome of the General Election.




The long-running survey revealed that industry confidence in UK activities has plunged to a record low, with high taxes and a potential exploration ban threatening to bring the domestic oil and gas industry to a premature end.

The chamber estimates that the party which wins the election has a short period to restore confidence, or face losing investment worth around £30bn.

The report also called for a ‘relentless focus’ on renewable energy job creation, echoing calls from union Unite for major investment to create jobs in wind power manufacturing and operations, hydrogen, carbon capture and decommissioning.

Sponsored by KPMG and the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ), the report shows that companies expect only around half of their work (51%) to be in renewables by 2030 – up from 34% currently – although headwinds remain.

Despite the oil price remaining over $80 a barrel, confidence among companies working in the UK Continental Shelf is now lower than the financial crash and the pandemic, when oil prices had slumped to around $16 a barrel.

Profitability and the regulatory environment are listed as the biggest barriers to diversification into renewable energy, with respondents expecting only 51% of their activities to be out with oil and gas by 2030.

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