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The UK’s offshore oil and gas sector has announced plans to cut half of its emissions over the next decade.

The latest move comes as the fossil fuel sector in the country aims to transition to a net-zero emissions basin by 2050, as part of its commitment to address climate change and help decarbonise the global economy.

A report published by offshore industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), titled ‘The Pathway to Net Zero: Production Emissions Targets’, outlines how targets will be achieved through changes to operations and also through major capital investment programmes that are aimed at using electricity instead of gas to power offshore facilities.

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said: “The coronavirus pandemic and low oil and gas prices have had a devastating impact on the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry. Given the limited impact that the severity of the lockdown has had on global emissions, it is clearer than ever that we need a fair, inclusive, and sustainable transition towards climate targets. We need a green recovery which supports jobs, supply chain companies and energy communities.

“A transformational sector deal could help unlock the full potential of this industry to support a green recovery and we’re delighted to confirm that we are now in formal discussions about it.

“With a clear pathway to becoming a net-zero basin by 2050 and with support from governments and regulators, we can protect domestic energy supplies, jobs and communities whilst embracing the opportunities, which will come from being at the forefront of delivering a low carbon economy.”

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By GlobalData

According to OGUK, the industry will play its part in reducing emissions through solutions needed to make a significant contribution to the country’s overall targets.

Last month, UK industry regulator Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) called for the UK offshore industry to help the government achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target by 2050.

In February, BP announced it will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions ‘by 2050 or sooner’. It has published a ten-point plan, including five targets for BP to achieve net-zero and five on how BP can support a global goal.

In September last year, the UK Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) announced that it will create a Net Zero Solution Centre to accelerate the development and deployment of decarbonisation technology in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).