The government has announced that it will grant hundreds of new oil and gas drilling licences in the North Sea. The SDP supports this move for three reasons.
- Oil and gas remains a necessary part of the UK’s fuel mix given the interruptible nature of renewable supply. It makes neither economic nor environmental sense to import it in large quantities – and in so doing harm the nation’s balance of trade – if production is possible from domestic sources.
- As last winter showed, energy security matters. We will improve Britain’s energy security by reducing reliance on unstable supplies from abroad.
- A viable oil and gas industry will retain the skills to develop large-scale carbon capture in the North Sea, such as compression, pipelining and geological mapping.
We recognise that investors in new oil and gas fields will find it increasingly difficult to obtain bank funding for such enterprises due to the banks’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) pledges. The SDP’s plan for a new body ‘British Energy’ will underwrite the necessary investment to bring new fields emerging from the drilling licences into production.
SDP leader William Clouston commented:
“For too long Britain’s need for energy – for homes, transportation and re-industrialisation – has been subject to the whims of politicians and corporations who don’t have the nation’s interests at heart.
The SDP strongly supports the construction of a new generation of British nuclear power stations to help us decarbonize. However, since oil and gas are a necessary bridge to this future, it makes sense for us to produce our own rather than import it from others. The SDP supports the new licences and will underpin the finance to make it happen.”