he North Sea The oil and gas industry is on track to meet emissions reduction targets, according to new analysis by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA).

The body, formerly known as the Oil and Gas Authority, said the sector would shrink by more than one-fifth between 2018 and 2021.

An analysis of the latest emissions monitoring report released on Wednesday showed that greenhouse gas emissions fell by about 14.6% to 14.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) last year.

This adds up to a total reduction of 21.5% since 2018.

The NSTA says bold action will be needed to meet the target of halving emissions by 2030, with upgrading platforms to run on clean electricity rather than gas or diesel fuel “essential”.

It says that without such action, the goals agreed under the North Sea Transition Agreement (NSTD) will not be met.

The industry has made impressive progress in reducing emissions during a turbulent period

Meeting the targets is the “absolute minimum” the organization expects from the oil and gas industry, the report said.

Dr Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the NSTA, said: “The industry has made impressive progress in reducing emissions during a turbulent period marked by the global pandemic and unprecedented price volatility.

“Energy security is more at the fore than ever and NSTA is working closely with industry and government to bring new oil and gas projects online and strengthen the UK’s energy supply. This vital work sits alongside emissions reduction targets.

“NSTA will continue to hold the industry accountable to ensure it meets and exceeds its targets.

“The outstanding progress in flaring is yet another example of our sharp focus on performance coupled with rapid industry action to reduce emissions and energy security.

“As a result, flaring is on a downward trend from 2018 and the reduction achieved in 2021 alone was equivalent to the annual gas demand of 130,000 UK homes.”

However, environmental campaigns have accused the authority of focusing “exclusively on emissions from UK oil and gas production”.

They mess around while the planet burns

Friends of the Earth Scotland criticized the report for failing to mention the “significantly higher amount of climate-changing pollution from burning oil and gas”.

The company’s Ryan Morrison said: “The North Sea Transitional Authority may want to pat themselves on the back, but they’re messing around while the planet burns.

“Their focus on emissions from extracting oil from the ground willfully ignores and obscures the much larger climate impact of burning oil and extracted gas.

“The irony should not be lost that when the fossil fuel industry is thinking about attaching wind turbines to oil rigs, they are also insisting on drilling for every last drop of oil and gas. Worse, this report shows that pollution per barrel is higher than most other countries and has actually increased over the past year.

“Both climate scientists and energy experts are absolutely clear that there can be no new oil or gas development if we are to stay within agreed limits on global warming, no matter how much industry fidgets around the edges of North Sea emissions.” .


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