On Monday, Rishi Sunak confirmed an additional 100 new North Sea production licences would be granted this autumn, insisting the move remained “entirely consistent” with the UK’s climate change commitments.
But just how reliant is the UK on fossil fuel extraction these days? And is expanding its scope really as environmentally sound as the Prime Minister claims?
How much oil and gas has the UK extracted from the North Sea historically?
Oil was first piped onshore from beneath the bed of the North Sea back in 1971, just over 50 years ago, but widespread exploitation of the reserves discovered didn’t boom until the Eighties.