Where is the Oil and Gas Industry in the UK Headed to?

oil factory

Even with much of the world attempting to switch to greener alternatives for their energy consumption, the truth is that oil and gas are still the two biggest resources in use across the globe. Every single day, roughly 90 million barrels of oil are harvested from below ground, with roughly 98 billion cubic feet of gas retrieved from deposits. This huge volume is what supplies much of the world’s transportation, manufacturing and production needs and with new fields set to be established, the United Kingdom is paving the way for more jobs, larger rigs and even bigger levels of energy extraction in the near future.

Oil and Gas in the UK

The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of natural oil and gas extraction for decades. Every year, thousands of British engineers turn to digital career hotspots in a bid to find their ideal position on rigs and vessels, and the market looks set to expand even further with the development of new oil and gas fields set to be established soon.

With so many active rigs already in action, and abandoned ones expected to be disassembled and recycled, the UK plays host to roughly 120 structures with more being erected.

What’s Next for UK Gas and Oil?

Having become a market leader decades ago, the UK still has big ambitions for gas and oil exploration, with their newest site set to be established in the North Sea. With an increase in the demand for natural gases and fossil fuels, the British Government has been eyeing up the potential of the North Sea after a large deposit was discovered that could produce more than 500 million barrels of oil before depletion, it certainly seems to make good sense to take advantage of this natural resource as the price of imported crude oil is on the rise.

With the war in Ukraine playing a major role in this price increase, and Russia restricting gas flow to Europe and other parts of the Western Hemisphere, it’s no wonder why countries are beginning to turn their heads in the direction of their own local deposits. Although the projects themselves can cost many millions of GBP to properly plan, construct and maintain – the demand for oil and gas has never been higher and in an effort to meet this demand, expanding into the North Sea seems like a viable option.

Potential Restrictions

One of the most challenging factors faced by the government in the UK is the need to adhere to carbon emission restrictions – a pact that many countries signed up to in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, decrease the progress of global warming, and benefit the environment and wider world in general.

Finding a balance can be tricky, as most societies require natural gases and oil to enjoy day to day life, but as this demand increases, more fossil fuels are required. As these fuels are extracted, the demand can be met, but as a consequence, treaties that were signed up to can be breached, resulting in huge penalties for the countries that surpass their required allocations.

As a result, the United Kingdom is trying to come up with an effective way to create a balance. There is no end in sight for the need for fossil fuels, and demand is increasing. To cater to this demand, the government is considering erecting and installing new oil rigs within their territories to provide for their people, as well as offer exports to countries willing to purchase British crude oil and natural gas.

Internally and in an effort to lower carbon emissions, the country is also trying to take matters into its own hands by introducing carbon emission taxes throughout the most congested regions of the UK, including London, Manchester and Liverpool. These congestion taxes target road users, who understandably find themselves bearing the brunt of higher emissions, and so further problems are arising as councils introduce restrictive measures, drivers find themselves struggling to make ends meet, and families use more energy in general.

One efficient way to assist is by turning to greener alternatives on a personal level, I.e. within homes and offices, whereby renewable energy sources are utilised. This is a technique recommended by many members of parliament, and experts predict that in a couple of decades’ time, most homes within the United Kingdom will be required to possess solar panels and other renewable energy resources to lower their own personal carbon emissions.

On a larger scale however, the demand for fossil fuels currently outweighs the need to reduce emissions, and with consumers experiencing huge price increases between 2019 and 2023 for commodities such as petrol, diesel and natural gas – the government is finding itself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

External Restrictions Imposed by Authorities

To add insult to injury, the Committee for Climate Control is up in the air regarding the United Kingdom’s ambitions to search for new oil deposits. With no solid answer given, the British Government has decided to take matters into its own hands by pursuing the installation of a new rig in the North Sea.

By doing so, certain other countries have complained, but the government has rightfully refuted these concerns by stating that the demand far outweighs the potential for its people to suffer needlessly. With a guaranteed 500 million barrels available from the North Sea after exploring with GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar), experts in the UK have stated that this amount could satisfy the British market for years ahead, meaning less need to search further afield.

Considering that Norway is only 3 million kilograms behind the UK as far as carbon emissions are concerned, Britain is on the lower scale of environmentally unfriendly activities and as newer, greener techniques are introduced across the busiest cities including London, this number looks set to decrease even further.

Although demand for natural resources may be up, the British Government is actually doing a good job according to experts, as far as reducing carbon emissions is concerned. For every step backward made toward crude oil, two steps forward are being introduced and over time, this could lead to a well-balanced, harmonious system that the UK can enjoy for years to come.


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