Ms Michie was speaking at the webinar briefing for OGUK’s Economic Report 2021, sponsored by Deloitte, which provides a detailed insight into the changing energy landscape at a critical time in the national conversation.
Addressing the argument by some that there should be no new oil and gas, she said: “Let me directly address those who are worried this morning when I say that, based on facts, data and evidence – not rhetoric or symbolic gestures – our message is a very straightforward one.
“That oil and gas, and the UK’s transition to a low carbon future, are inextricably linked. And that this combination is key if we are indeed to have a just and fair transition that delivers net zero quickly. We need to and want to work together with governments to deliver a transition that cuts emissions, prioritises UK energy and supports jobs and companies already driving change.
“Now is the time for us to work together – not against each other.
“Because the reality is that demand for oil and gas here in the UK will continue for decades to come, albeit decreasing as society shifts over time to alternatives like hydrogen and renewables. And we have the data to show that it is oil and gas companies with their skills and experience that are becoming the energy companies who will help drive this necessary diverse energy mix.
“And the irrefutable evidence is there as you study the production profile of our basin – that, even as the country’s need for oil and gas declines, demand for oil and gas will still outstrip domestic supply and we will never produce an excess of oil or gas as some claim – even as new fields come onstream.”
“Uncertainty is the only certainty we seem to have, as things continue to shift around us, and who knows what a full COVID recovery really looks like – both at home and globally. Real change is happening all around us and with it the acknowledgement that we, as a sector are changing and evolving and that there is no going back but oil and gas remains a core industrial sector to the UK and one that is vital to underpinning and supporting our transition to a low carbon future.”
“By working together, supporting each other, we will get this transition right.”
The full report can be read or downloaded here.