UKOOG, the trade association for the UK onshore oil and gas industry, has agreed a partnership with Community – the steel, iron and manufacturing industries trade union – to promote the importance of home-grown oil and gas and to protect British jobs.
The two bodies have signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure that the country has access to reliable and secure supplies of home-grown oil and gas. UKOOG and Community agree that oil and gas produced in the UK will have a key role in securing future energy supplies, reducing the UK’s reliance on foreign imports, creating highly skilled jobs and helping Britain move to a low carbon energy future.
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UKOOG said: ‘The UK currently imports 50% of its gas needs, and is forecast to increase to 75% in the next 15 years, costing the UK £10 billion a year.
“Importing gas across continents and oceans by tanker also has a serious environmental impact compared with producing it in the UK. We are looking forward to working with Community to provide the public with affordable, home-grown energy and give them the confidence that the industry works in a safe, transparent and environmentally responsible manner.’
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, commented: “As the union for steelworkers and many other traditional manufacturers, our aim in working with UKOOG is to ensure that UK industry has stable, reliable and affordable energy sources as well as providing job security and maintaining the highest possible levels of Health & Safety across the sector.
“The future development of home-grown oil and gas has the potential to support thousands of jobs through its supply chain, including in the steel industry, as long as it is part of a joined-up industrial strategy for the UK. We look forward to working with UKOOG as this vitally important industry continues to develop.’
The oil and gas industry employs directly or sustains 500,000 people. The emergence of shale gas and new conventional fields in the UK is estimated by accountants EY to have the ability to create up to 64,500 new jobs.
Similarly, British businesses can benefit from the outputs of the onshore oil and gas industry and has the opportunity for supplying equipment and services. The memorandum will enable Community and UKOOG to work together to protect existing jobs and supply chains and to create new ones which will benefit local communities.