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Britain to grant over 100 new North Sea oil and gas licenses  

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Cyann Fielding

Journalist at Tank Storage Magazine.

Britain will grant more than 100 new oil and gas licences in the North Sea as part of efforts to tap domestic supplies and become more energy independent. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the move was compliant with the government’s environmental targets, with around a quarter of the UK’s energy demand due to still be met by oil and gas when the UK reaches net zero in 2050. 

The new licences will support domestic supply, reduce reliance on hostile states, boost jobs in the sector and reduce the carbon footprint when compared with an alternative option of importing liquified natural gas. 

The government also announced plans to set up two new carbon capture usage and storage clusters in Scotland and northern England. 

‘As the UK is a rapidly declining producer of oil and gas, new oil and gas licences reduce the fall in UK supply in order to ensure vital energy security, rather than increase it above current levels – so that the UK remains on track to meet net zero by 2050,’ says the government. 

The oil and gas industry regulator expects the first of the new licences, which will continue to face climate compatibility tests, to be awarded in the autumn. 

It also said the new licences could be offered close to already licensed areas to unlock oil and gas reserves faster thanks to existing infrastructure and previous assessments. 

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