New UK Prime Minister Likely Good for the Oil, Gas Sector

New UK Prime Minister Could Be Good for Oil, Gas
The appointment of Theresa May as the United Kingdom's new Prime Minister is likely to be a positive development for the UK oil and gas industry. Copyright: UK Home Office

The appointment of Theresa May as the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister is likely to be a good development for the UK oil and gas industry, according to her voting record in Parliament

The records show that May has voted to help the onshore drilling sector, such as siding against explicitly requiring an environmental permit for hydraulic fracturing activities in a vote on January 26, 2015. The House of Commons followed May’s lead on the matter, with 319 voters siding with the new PM while 224 voters sided against her.

On the same day last year, May voted not to ban the exploitation of unconventional petroleum for at least 18 months and not to require a review of the impact of such exploitation on climate change, the environment, the economy, and health and safety be carried out and published. In that vote, the majority of May’s colleagues sided with her views (307) and just 52 voted in favour of the proposed new rules.

May was also absent for a vote on an infrastructure bill focusing on the safeguards and conditions for hydraulic fracturing activities on February 11, 2015 and a vote on onshore hydraulic fracturing in protected areas on December 16, 2015.

One commentator pointed out that the appointment of a new PM so quickly after the referendum will bring much needed stability for the oil and gas sector.

“The appointment of Theresa May is good from the point of view that it’s going to create stability and hopefully unify the government - give them a clear set of policies as opposed to a situation we’ve had for the last few weeks,” said Peter Searle, CEO at energy, infrastructure and process industry workforce solutions provider Airswift.

“What’s going to be good for the recruitment market is that markets will settle down, now there is certainty about who is going to be running the government and who is going to be appointed to the position of PM. It is going to encourage people to start investing again because I think Theresa May is going to be a strong PM,” he added.

Theresa May became the Prime Minister Wednesday after David Cameron stepped down from the role following a national vote to leave the European Union on June 23. In a turnout of 72.2 percent, 51.9 percent of the UK public voted to leave the union, with 48.1 percent voting to remain.


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