Boris Johnson is to announce the first new round of North Sea exploration licences since 2019, according to The Times.
- New licences will take, on average, 28 years to start production.
- The UK does not own its oil and gas, so fossil fuels extracted will be sold to the highest bidder and will have little impact on self sufficiency.
- This comes despite guidance from the government’s own advisors saying that the government should adopt a presumption against exploration.
- Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Energy Minister Greg Hands and COP President Alok Sharma are among those who have acknowledged that increasing UK oil and gas production will do nothing to alleviate high bills.
Rosie Rogers, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: “This is Boris Johnson’s moment of abject failure to rise to the challenge. Today the EU announced more renewables and efficiency to cut fossil fuel demand, but Johnson is stuck on the stale old approach of pushing hydrocarbon supplies.
“New licences will take 28 years to start production, the gas won’t belong to the UK but to the companies who extract it, and it will be sold on global markets at the highest possible price.
“Meanwhile in the short term we’ll keep sending £6m per day to Putin in gas money, while British people’s bills continue to skyrocket.
“This plan is inadequate, wrongheaded and foolish. Johnson - and Sunak alike - seem completely disinterested in tackling energy demand. We need a race for renewables, heat pumps and home insulation to isolate Putin.”