An emissions reality check for the UK North Sea

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The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has consulted industry on further reducing UK upstream emissions. Operators must reduce emissions 50% on 2018 levels by 2030. The NSTA believes this target will be missed unless more is done. Its key proposals are: • Full electrification of fields onstream after 1 January 2030 (host platforms must be electrified in the case of tie-backs) • Fields onstream before 2030 to be “electrification ready” • New developments shall have zero routine flaring and venting • Zero routine flaring and venting for all developments by 2030 • Declaration of cessation of production (COP) dates for fields with emissions intensity 50% above the basin average We consider the possible impact of the proposals and ask: in a mature North Sea with many fields nearing depletion, is offshore electrification really the most effective and efficient way to decarbonise?

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Power market constraints
    • Upstream constraints
  • Flaring and venting
  • Emission-intensive assets
  • Increasing reliance on imports

Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:

  • Flaring & venting intensities by North Sea producer* (2023)
  • Forties field: societal costs by abatement level (0-60%), and impact of no further abatement (0%) on economic cut-off
  • Assets with emissions intensity 50% above UKCS average (2023)
  • Count of current COP estimates by year of assets with emissions intensity of 30 kgCO2e/boe or more
  • UK refinery supply sources by emissions intensity (2022)
  • Energy mix of the grid (2022) UK & Norway

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    An emissions reality check for the UK North Sea

    PDF 1.47 MB