Industry Body Sets Out 7 Key Asks for Future UK PM

Industry Body Sets Out 7 Key Asks for Future UK PM
Offshore Energies UK has written open letters to UK prime ministerial hopefuls Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

Industry body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has written open letters to UK prime ministerial hopefuls Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss setting out seven “key asks”.

The ‘asks’ are designed to reassure the industry that the UK’s fiscal and regulatory regimes are fit for purpose and that the UK is open for business, according to OEUK. They comprise the following:

  1. Commit to removing the Energy Profits Levy when possible and no later than the sunset clause of 2025.
  2. The successful candidate should meet with the sector ahead of any Emergency Budget.
  3. Both sides to re-commit to the North Sea Transition Deal for a zero-carbon North Sea.
  4. The Climate Compatibility Checkpoint must be announced in Autumn 2022.
  5. The long-awaited 33rd Licensing Round must be launched before the end of 2022.
  6. The new Energy Act must support the industry, UK energy security and a fair transition.
  7. The new PM and chancellor should meet regularly with sector representatives, including visits to Aberdeen for fiscal forums.  

In the letters, OEUK outlines that the offshore energy Industry is a crucial part of the economy, supporting 200,000 jobs across the United Kingdom directly and through its supply chain. The letters highlight that 70 percent of the UK’s energy need is met by natural gas, which OEUK dubs “a vital transition fuel”.

OEUK, which points out in the letters that 50 percent of this natural gas is supplied from the UK continental shelf, notes that its members “are at the heart of this domestic supply and they are also driving the energy transition into new technologies like carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and offshore wind”.

In a statement posted on its website, OEUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jenny Stanning, said, “people across the UK are facing a tough winter as the cost-of-living squeeze continues”. 

“Leadership is about inspiring confidence in the future while delivering real security and certainty today. This winter the new Prime Minister will need to balance helping households with protecting the nation’s long-term energy security,” Stanning added.

“It means this will be a pivotal time for investment in energy, both for our nation’s energy security and to ensure we deliver on the UK’s net zero commitment by 2050. We are engaging with Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, and their campaign teams, to ensure they recognize the vital part our sector will play in keeping the nation’s lights on and its homes warm during the difficult months ahead and the years to follow,” Stanning continued.

Last month, OEUK warned that the Energy Profits Levy Bill “risks starving crucial North Sea projects of tens of billions of pounds of investment”. In a statement posted on OEUK’s website, OEUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said she was disappointed that the levy had become law and urged ministers to work with the industry to minimize the damage done to it.

Earlier this August, Truss and Sunak were invited to take part in a Net Zero and Energy Security Hustings in the coming weeks by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC), and the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC).

After a series of ballots, Conservative Members of Parliament chose Truss and Sunak as the final two candidates in the Conservative leadership race. On September 5, the Conservatives will announce the next head of the Conservative and Unionist Party and the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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