UK News

Labour would block new North Sea oil and gas developments, report claims

Labour would reportedly block new North Sea oil and gas developments (PA)
Dan Barker, PA Scotland

New North Sea oil and gas developments will reportedly be blocked under a Labour government.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is on the verge of announcing the block when he sets out his net-zero energy policy in Scotland next month, The Sunday Times said.

As part of the energy plans, the newspaper reported a Sir Keir-run government would only borrow to invest in green enterprises, and that Labour expects its plans to create up to half a million jobs in the renewables industry, including 50,000 in Scotland.

A Labour source told the Sunday Times: “We are against the granting of new licences for oil and gas in the North Sea.

“They will do nothing to cut bills, as the Tories have acknowledged.

Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will set out his net-zero policy next month (PA)

“They undermine our energy security and would drive a coach and horse through our climate targets.

“But Labour would continue to use existing oil and gas wells over the coming decades and manage them sustainably as we transform the UK into a clean energy superpower.”

In its draft energy strategy published in January, the Scottish Government said there “should be a presumption against new exploration for oil and gas”, as it proposed making the “fastest possible just transition”.

But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has backed new oil and gas exploration, and energy licences are under Westminster’s control.

The North Sea Transition Authority has recently held a licensing round for oil and gas exploration projects which attracted more than 100 bids.

Two oil fields, Cambo and Jackdaw, have been given licences.