A 200-strong delegation from the East of England Energy Group – the trade association for the wind, oil, and gas industries in Norfolk – will converge on MPs at Westminster this week to deliver the message: “East Anglia is critical to the nation’s future energy security.”
Industry leaders will join representatives from companies, organisations and colleges serving the oil & gas, offshore wind and nuclear industries to meet the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Greg Clark MP and Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property and Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe.
They will put the case that the East of England is crucial for keeping the UK lit and warm for decades because of its diverse mix of essential energy sectors at a meeting in the House of Commons on Wednesday (Oct 19).
The event is organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) through the offices of Brandon Lewis MP and supported by fellow local MPs Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, and Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal.
Simon Gray, EEEGR Chief Executive, said the vital role the east of England plays in the nation’s energy supply and its potential should not be under-estimated.
“With the targeted reduction of carbon emissions and a goal to stop burning coal by 2025, the East of England is prepared for the strategic role it will play in government plans for future energy production.
“Our special blend of offshore wind, nuclear and continued exploration and development of gas can provide the lower carbon key for a secure energy economy for generations to come.
“With more than 50 years’ offshore expertise and heritage and an innovative and robust supply chain serving the most diverse range of energy in the UK, the East of England should not be overlooked as the region most critical to the nation’s future energy security.
“The aim of our Westminster Reception is to reinforce that message at the heart of government about the capability, potential and activity of our industry and its impact on regenerating the local economy and providing new skills in communities, a key area of focus for EEEGR’s Skills for Energy programme.”
Three EEEGR initiatives will be launched at the event. Project updates will be provided by:
- EDF Energy about Sizewell C nuclear power plant
- Scottish Power about the East Anglia-1 offshore wind farm, and
- ENGIE, formerly GDF Suez, about the Cygnus project, the biggest new gas field discovered in the North Sea for 25 years, which expects its first gas to flow into Bacton soon.
- A new Late Life and Decommissioning Matrix showing the capabilities of companies in the region hoping to work in the estimated £47 billion offshore decommissioning programme is being produced in association with the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), Decom North Sea and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
When complete, it will enable operators to view the specialist services the East of England supply chain can provide. Businesses keen to be part of decommissioning can also use it to discover where there are gaps in services.
Meanwhile, to ensure North Sea platforms and wells are not decommissioned prematurely and any remaining hard-to-reach reserves are recovered, the establishment of a new Southern North Sea Rejuvenation Special Interest Group will be announced by Eric Marston, OGA Southern North Sea manager, will be formally announcing the establishment of the SNS Rejuvenation SIG. supporting the OGA initiative to Maximise Economic Recovery (MER) and rejuvenate the SNS basin.
Marston said: “The Southern North Sea Rejuvenation SIG was established in recognition of the significant potential which remains in the basin. The area’s unique blend of energy sources, including offshore wind, means we can take advantage of the synergies between industries to explore how we can work together in future for mutual benefit.
“A considerable prize remains at stake. We estimate another 3.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas remains from current assets and, potentially, another 5 tcf combined from further drilling in current fields and discovered undeveloped new fields.
“It is essential we promote further exploration and appraisal activity, protect critical infrastructure and support marginal and small pool developments utilising the experienced supply chain and latest technology.”
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