Equinor chief warns North Sea investment at record low

13/11/2023

AN ENERGY boss is warning that investment in the North Sea is at an “all-time low” after meeting with Humza Yousaf and Claire Coutinho last week.

Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President at Equinor, UK & Ireland, sat down with both ministers to raise concerns on political and fiscal stability in the basin.

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Posting on social media, Mr Gürtner spoke with Mr Yousaf and Ms Coutinho about the “sharp decline” of the UK continental shelf, during a “frank and open conversation”.

Mr Gürtner said: “In both meetings I was candid on the fact that the #UKCS (UK continental shelf) is on a sharp decline and investments into the basin on an all-time low, while, although certainly welcomed, exploration licensing alone will not change that picture.

“Hence, I also asked for focus on political and fiscal stability to ensure domestic energy production and security. 

“Meanwhile there is a risk losing our high quality supply chain and workforce on the way. 

“Climate leadership is not turning off the UK oil and gas industry, while still using the 75% oil and gas products in our everyday lives.

“Climate leadership is to use the competence and skills of the oil and gas sector to reduce emission from production, to transition into CCS/hydrogen and offshore wind – that is where the UK is a grand example!”

Mr Gürtner also revealed that he had a discussion with the First Minister on the benefits of Rosebank.

Mr Yousaf previously said that giving the project the go-ahead is “climate denial”.

Mr Gürtner said: “We discussed progress on the energy transition and the role that oil and gas is going to continue to play in the future energy mix. 

“We discussed at length our various projects across Scotland, including #Rosebank and the benefits it will bring to the country in terms of jobs and investment. 

“We also spoke about our future plans including the electrification of Rosebank, growing our offshore wind projects and developing carbon capture and storage.”

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