Energy woes tackled by extracting 'every last drop' from the North Sea

Energy woes can be tackled by extracting ‘every last drop’ of oil from the North Sea, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

  • The minister said emission reduction should not prevent oil and gas exploration 
  • He also rejected calls for oil giants to face windfall taxes to ease cost of living 
  • Brexit opportunities minister said profit needed to get ‘last drop’ from North Sea
  • UK regulators confirmed new licences to drill for fuel will be issued this year 

Britain should extract ‘every last drop’ of oil from the North Sea, a senior minister said yesterday. 

It came as UK regulators confirmed new licences to drill for fossil fuels will be issued this year. 

Speaking ahead of the launch of the Government’s Energy Security Strategy this week, Jacob Rees-Mogg said targets to cut carbon emissions should not be allowed to prevent the full exploitation of Britain’s oil and gas reserves.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the Government’s Energy Security Strategy this week, Jacob Rees-Mogg, pictured on LBC, said targets to cut carbon emissions should not be allowed to prevent the full exploitation of Britain’s oil and gas reserves

Mr Rees-Mogg rejected calls for oil giants to face windfall taxes to ease the cost of living, saying they needed to make profits ‘so they get every last drop out of the North Sea’. Pictured: An oil rig anchored in the Cromarty Firth, Invergordon

Drilling for oil and gas is ‘moral and economic madness’, the UN’s Secretary General warned yesterday as he released the latest scientific report into the climate crisis. 

Antonio Guterres said the report was a stark warning of what will happen if we do not take action – devastating flooding, heatwaves and droughts. 

He added: ‘This report… is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unliveable world.’ 

He said that despite pledges to hold global warming to 1.5C at the Paris Agreement in 2015, current policies meant we were on course for an increase of more than 3C.

He rejected calls for oil giants to face windfall taxes to ease the cost of living, saying they needed to make profits ‘so they get every last drop out of the North Sea’. 

Speaking to LBC radio, the Brexit opportunities minister added: ‘We need to be thinking about exploiting every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea. We are not going for net zero tomorrow – 2050 is a long way off.’ 

Andy Samuels, chief executive of the North Sea Transition Authority, which oversees exploration, said yesterday that further licences for drilling would be issued later this year, provided they pass ‘climate compatibility checks’. 

Dr Samuels acknowledged that the move would be controversial with some green groups, but added: ‘While we still need oil and gas it seems sensible to get it from the North Sea, which has a lower carbon footprint.’ 

The energy strategy, drawn up after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is expected to give the green light for further North Sea exploration, together with a big expansion of nuclear power. 

But ministers are split over how far to go in relaxing planning permission for building onshore wind farms.

The strategy is also expected to look at the moratorium on fracking to see if there is new evidence shale gas can be extracted without the risk of significant tremors.

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