The last drop

Think tank: Green Alliance

Author(s): Heather Plumpton; Caterina Brandmayr; Dustin Benton

February 22, 2022

This report from UK think tank Green Alliance looks at why it is not economic to extract more oil and gas from the North Sea.

The spike in the global gas price since 2021 has seen UK households struggle to afford their energy bills. Some think a solution to this energy crisis is to increase domestic production and drill for more oil and gas in the North Sea. But we argue that opening new fields is uneconomic, given the high cost of extraction in the North Sea, the need to act on climate change and the unstoppable rise of clean technologies. We highlight how tax relief, given to support UK oil and gas exploration, is skewing the market in favour of opening new fields for extraction, presenting a significant risk of stranded assets and a high cost burden for taxpayers and investors.