The head of the North Sea regulator has called on the International Energy Agency (IEA) to consider mapping out a deal to guide the global oil and gas industry through the energy transition, mirroring the one agreed this year in the UK.
The UK oil and gas industry in March agreed a package of support with government — the North Sea Transition Deal — intended to set the stage for billions of pounds of investment to help operators cut operational carbon emissions, while kick-starting hydrogen and carbon capture projects, and supporting the supply chain.
“I personally would like the IEA and others to start looking at a global deal for oil and gas in the way that the UK has done with our North Sea Transition Deal,” Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, said at the SPE Offshore Europe 2021 conference.
He said industry needs to see “not just scenarios, but actually a plan” that can attract investment but remains consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit rises in global temperatures to as near as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“And that needs to be a global deal,” he said.
Samuel hopes such a deal could form part of future United Nations climate talks after the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.
He believes the climate conference will be more focused on dealing with the use of coal.
“I’d love [a global oil and gas deal] to be a future target for the COP after COP26,” he said.
Samuel called the North Sea Transition Deal a “global exemplar”.
In May, the Paris-based IEA set the cat among the pigeons by saying it sees no need for investment in new fossil fuel developments if the world wants to tackle global warming effectively.
The proposal was one element of the IEA’s “Net Zero by 2050” report outlining what it believes are the steps needed to keep global temperature increases to within the 1.5 degree target.