The foreign secretary’s allies have begun talks with energy companies about increasing domestic oil and gas production in order to reduce rising prices.
Liz Truss’s top advisers have begun talks with energy companies about increasing the production of North Sea oil, and gas, if she is elected prime minister.
Kwasi Kwarteng (the Business Secretary) and Jacob Rees Mogg (the Brexit opportunities minister) are working together to maximize domestic production in the lead-up to winter.
According to The Times, they have been involved in discussions with global giants Shell, Total, and Perenco regarding plans for a new round of drilling licenses.
They are expected to assume the top two Treasury positions, with Mr Kwarteng as chancellor and Ms Rees-Mogg as chief secretary.
Allies of Ms Truss insist that the pair met in their current capacity as ministers to the government and not as part of her transition plans to enter No 10. Boris Johnson’s Government has announced that it will hold a new round of oil and gas licenses this fall.
To combat rising prices and reduce import dependence, the Foreign Secretary has repeatedly promised to substantially increase Britain’s gas production.
She made a pledge to the Tory leadership at an Exter early Tory hustings, to “make sure that we exploit all of North Sea gas and… use it to boost our domestic energy supply.”
Offshore Energies UK is an organization that represents oil and gas producers.
In a statement to City AM, it described them as “responsible actions by what could be an emerging administration to consult the energy industry in a time of crises”.
The Telegraph was also informed by a Whitehall source that talks have been ongoing. As many as 130 new drilling licenses could be approved this autumn, it is believed.
One project off the coast of the Shetlands is expected to be approved. It could account for eight per cent of UK production by the end of the decade.
Equinor, a Norwegian state energy company, wants to extract 70,000 gallons of oil per day from the Rosebank field. Pumping is scheduled to start in 2025.
Supporters of the Foreign Secretary, who had been calling for increased domestic production, were delighted by the plans to dramatically increase North Sea drilling.
John Redwood, Tory MP, was also considered for a ministerial position in the Treasury if she is elected to the leadership. She stated that it would “ease” the squeeze on energy prices.
More permits and some changes to rules can increase output. He said that more supply is the answer to energy shortages and sky-high prices.
However, the move will be incompatible with Ms Truss’s pledge to adhere to the Net Zero target. This comes just weeks after Britain was hit by a severe heat wave and drought warnings.
It’s unlikely that it will provide immediate relief to families in need this winter. The gains from more drilling won’t be realized until the middle term.
Critics say that the plans will only sell North Sea oil and natural gas on international markets, and do not solve Britain’s problems.
This comes after Ms Truss was criticised for not laying out clearly how she would assist families in the winter cost of living crisis.
Ofgem announced Friday that the energy price cap would rise by 80% from October. This will increase the average household bill to £3,549.
There are warnings that the cost of living will continue to rise, possibly reaching a peak of £7.700 by April next year.
Allies of the Foreign Minister insist that she will provide more targeted support for the poorest families when she becomes No 10.
They have also stressed that her priority is to reduce taxes in order to encourage work and give ordinary Britons more money.
Ms Truss will scrap the plan to raise corporation tax to 26% next year and reverse April’s increase in National Insurance.
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