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Future of the UK oil and gas industry

Published Friday, October 5, 2018

A debate will be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 9 October 2018 at 11.30am on the future of the UK oil and gas industry. The debate will be opened by John McNally MP. This paper provides a brief overview of the industry and relevant issues, recent parliamentary comment and other press releases and articles.

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  • The oil and gas industry is well-established in the UK, historically focusing on exploiting conventional oil and gas fields, both onshore and offshore. The UK was formally a net exporter of oil and gas, but is now a net importer.
  • Oil and gas provided 72% of the UK’s total primary energy (sum of production and imports subtracting exports) in 2017.
  • In 2017, net imports made up 24% of the oil the UK used, with the remainder from domestic production.
  • Net imports of natural gas were around 45% of UK supply in the same year.
  • The majority of oil, almost 80% of final consumption, is refined for use in transport.
  • Just over one third of the UKs total gas is used for domestic heating, and just under one third for electricity generation. Other major users are industry and business.
  • The UK is also a net importer of petroleum products (in total) such as petrol, diesel and heating oils. [1]
  • The Government published their Industrial Strategy in November 2017. The strategy includes sector deals for a number of different industries. The Government and oil and gas industry are currently working on a sector deal for oil and gas.


[1]     BEIS, Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2018, July 2017, Table 1.1

Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0210

Authors: Nikki Sutherland; Suzanna Hinson; Sara Priestley; Paul Bolton; Lorna Booth

Topics: Energy, Oil, petrol and natural gas

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