The UK could become a global leader in emissions reduction technology following the North Sea transition deal, the head of the oil and gas industry body has said.
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said the UK Government deal would accelerate low-carbon activities.
Speaking at the industry’s annual conference on Tuesday, she said the transition deal was the first of its kind in the G7 countries.
It included targets to reduce emissions over the next decade along with up to £16 billion of government and private investment in cleaner technology.
However, the transition deal has been criticised by environmental campaigners for not ruling out new licences for oil and gas, with green groups warning fossil fuels need to be curbed to meet climate change targets.
Ms Michie said: “This conference comes at a historic moment for our industry, just two months after we signed the landmark North Sea transition deal with the UK Government.
“It’s an ambitious deal that will accelerate a bold path to harness our sector’s five decades of energy expertise and help generate cleaner energy for millions of people here in the UK.
“And with the right support, the UK could become the Silicon Valley of energy, leading the way on emissions reduction, clean energy and low carbon technologies.”
She continued: “Our sector is still a jewel in the crown and an industrial success story for the UK.
“There have been many other jewels: shipbuilding, textiles, steel and mining to name just a few.
“What all of these have in common is that they were all lost while the demand for their products continued.
“With dire consequences – let’s not sugar coat it – on people and jobs, communities and businesses that were left behind and opportunities to transform being lost.
“Understanding why we let this happen is key because history doesn’t have to be repeated.”