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Self-harming in Scotland 01 September 2016

The latest annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report makes stark reading for the UK’s oil and gas industry. In the past 12 months, revenues paid to the state by the industry have dropped from £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to just £60 million ($79 million). In comparison to the £9.6 billion ($12.6 billion) raised in 2011, this represents a 99% decrease in returns in the last five years. ...

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An industrial strategy that might actually help industry 29 July 2016

Greg Clark, the UK’s new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, seems to be taking the final element of his title seriously. His surprise announcement that the UK government will conduct a new review into the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project shows that Theresa May’s new cabinet understands that joined-up thinking in industrial policy will be vital in securing the country’s economic future post-Brexit....

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UK surveys confirm likely negative effect of Brexit over next six months 21 July 2016

Following the EU referendum, UK manufacturers’ organisation EEF conducted a survey of companies to assess the impact of the decision to leave the EU which found a potentially negative impact on orders over the next six months. This trend was confirmed in the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) compiled by Markit, which saw its composite (services and manufacturing) index fall to an 87-month low....

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A step into the unknown 07 July 2016

Two weeks after the Brexit vote, it is possible to see some of the major issues facing the UK’s process and high hazard industries over the coming period in closer focus. Overall, the UK exports 40% of its products to European Union countries but this is far higher for some process industries, for example chemicals, where the figure is 56%. A main priority will be to reduce disruption while negotiating an equitable trading regime between the UK and EU....

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To leave or not to leave 01 June 2016

As the date for the Brexit referendum gets closer, advice on the likely effects of leaving or staying  for industry has proliferated. Both camps have put forward their arguments and whose you choose to believe may well reflect how you gauge the risks and opportunities for your company and the sector it operates in. ...

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The high cost of gangster capitalism 25 March 2016

Pity those workers in countries where political considerations are deemed more important than their safety - their lives, even. A glaring example of this was demonstrated recently in Russia, where methane blasts in the Severnaya coal mine in Vorkuta on February 28 killed 36 miners and rescuers, but were deemed unavoidable by officials and politicians....

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Fracking: shaken, not stirred 19 February 2016

On February 13, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit northwest Oklahoma, the third strongest earthquake on record in the state, which has seen a notable increase in seismic activity since 2008. In addition to the increase in the number of earthquakes, Oklahoma has seen an increase in the severity of earthquakes in recent years, and some experts have warned that it is only a matter of time before an earthquake of potentially fatal magnitude strikes....

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Government CCS support cancellation undermines UK's low-carbon energy prospects 24 December 2015

The UK Government’s decision to scrap a major part of its planned carbon capture and storage (CCS) funding has been met with dismay across the UK engineering and energy sectors. Three weeks before the COP21 Paris climate change agreement was signed on December 14, the Government made a regulatory announcement to this effect on the London stock exchange. ...

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BP study assesses key role of technology in future of energy use 03 November 2015

For the first time, BP has published its analysis of energy technologies and the options they present society in the quest for a sustainable and lower carbon energy future. The analysis, in a report entitled BP Technology Outlook, predicts that advances in technology will keep energy supplies plentiful and affordable and help pave the way to a lower carbon energy mix. ...

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UK energy policy – rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic? 25 September 2015

Over the last couple of decades, different UK Governments have cobbled together an energy policy that seems likely to lead to ever-higher electricity prices, while failing to meet environmental goals. At the heart of this dysfunction lies a string of decisions, some taken when market conditions were very different from now, others driven more by wishful thinking than any hard analysis of what would be best for UK consumers and industry....

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