Decarbonization One of Biggest Challenges of Our Time – OEUK

The leading representative body for the offshore energy sector, Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), will host a brand-new conference this year to explore ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’ – decarbonization.

For the energy sector, decarbonization means reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the production of the energy the UK needs while also cutting the emissions from the usage of that energy. 

In the UK, the Government has set a net zero target of 2050, and in Scotland it is 2045. The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry operating in the North Sea was one of the first industrial sectors to commit to these goals.

The basin has reduced its emissions from the production of oil and gas by 20% since 2018 and has assigned ambitious carbon and methane reduction targets through the landmark North Sea Transition Deal. These improvements have been achieved by progressive reduction of flaring, fundamental changes to operations and increased investment in new abatement technologies.

Providing secure, low carbon energy remains a priority. In the rest of this decade alone the sector could spend £200 billion on wind, hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS), and oil and gas projects.

The sector is also introducing measures like electrification of production facilities, such as offshore rigs and infrastructure. This could create new energy hubs which combine offshore wind and offshore oil and gas operations and connect them to the National Grid. 

The event, being held at the P&J Live in Aberdeen on October 12, will bring together industry leaders, experts, professionals, and policymakers to explore these challenges and examine how policy, planning and regulation can help the UK reach net zero. 

OEUK will also publish its annual Emissions Report at the conference, highlighting the progress the sector continues to make while supplying the energy the country needs in a more sustainable way.  

OEUK Sustainability and Policy Director Mike Tholen said:

“Decarbonization is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Delivering the UK’s climate goals will require an immense amount of action, supportive energy policy, the right regulation, and an unprecedented program of investment.

“Offshore energy companies are already scaling up the solutions needed to fight climate change, expand our energy mix, and position the UK as a future world-leader in low-carbon solutions. 

“But as we build that future, it is important to remember there is no simple choice between oil and gas or renewables. The reality is we will continue to need both. 

“By the mid-2030s, oil and gas will still provide 50% of our energy needs, so we must make sure the UK can continue supplying its own demand in a sustainable and cleaner way instead of increasing our reliance on costly, higher-carbon imports.

“The need to balance decarbonization with energy security and affordability has never been greater – so now is the time for action.”


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