Former BP boss calls for end to new North Sea drilling licences

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The erstwhile leader of BP John Browne has appeared to backmost a cardinal Labour power argumentation by calling for an extremity to caller North Sea lipid and state drilling licences.

The lipid manufacture veteran, who was known arsenic nan Sun King erstwhile he ran nan lipid institution betwixt 1995 and 2007, said an important trial for nan UK’s governmental parties earlier adjacent month’s wide predetermination was whether they person “serious plans for nan country’s greenish power transition”.

He urged nan adjacent authorities to “call a halt” to caller North Sea lipid and state projects to “reinforce our volition to get to nett zero and show timely leadership”.

His comments successful nan Financial Times are apt to beryllium viewed arsenic an implicit endorsement of nan Labour statement which has promised to extremity caller lipid and state exploration, while nan Conservative statement has backed yearly licensing rounds to “max out” nan UK’s ageing lipid basin. However, he suggested Britain should not purpose for self-sufficiency connected energy, and alternatively bargain its lipid and state much cheaply abroad.

Lord Browne said that nan UK was apt to request lipid and state “for galore years to come” and should let existing North Sea fossil substance projects to continue.

“But beyond this, we should telephone a halt,” wrote nan crossbench peer. “Such a move will reenforce our volition to get to nett zero and show timely leadership. It is besides difficult to judge that uncovering and processing nan very constricted lipid and state resources that stay will beryllium economical – aliases costs little – than buying supplies from nan world marketplace if needed,” Browne added.

The remark appears to rebuff claims from nan Conservative statement that supporting further exploration of nan North Sea will bolster nan UK’s power information and thief to trim state bills. The claims person besides been widely discredited by power experts.

The protector ambiance secretary, Ed Miliband, said: “Lord Browne’s involution adds his sound to nan chorus of power experts, including nan International Energy Agency and nan Climate Change Committee, who make clear that caller lipid and state licences are not nan correct prime for Britain.

“The only measurement to boost our power security, fortify our economy, protect our ambiance and guarantee long-term, bully jobs present successful Britain is by managing existing licences while sprinting to create nan cleanable power industries of nan future.”

Labour is besides readying to toughen nan government’s existing windfall taxation connected North Sea lipid and state profits, nan proceeds of which will thief to money a publically owned greenish power company. GB Energy will person an first capitalisation of £8.3bn complete nan magnitude of nan parliament to thief standard up caller greenish technologies and organization power projects.

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Browne, who pivoted from fossil fuels to group up a ambiance investing task astatine General Atlantic successful 2021, said nan gross from nan UK’s remaining lipid and state accumulation should beryllium utilized to “accelerate nan transition”.

“That intends much finance successful upwind and solar, and successful infrastructure, including semipermanent storage, that tin bring those supplies to market,” he added.

Source theguardian