Boris Johnson discusses ramping up domestic oil production
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In a poll that ran from 10am on Wednesday, March 16, to 9am on Friday, March 16, Express.co.uk asked: “Should the UK do an oil deal with Saudi Arabia rather than using North Sea reserves?” A total of 1,051 people voted, and dozens left comments sharing their thoughts below the accompanying article.
Overwhelmingly, the majority of voters – 83 percent (871 responses) – said: “No – we need to become self-reliant, use North Sea reserves”.
Meanwhile, 16 percent of voters (172) said: “Yes – do a deal with Saudi Arabia” with a further eight people saying they did not know.
The UK is under increasing pressure to decrease its reliance on Russian oil and gas imports, although it already sources a much lower percentage of supply than other countries in Europe.
Many users commented on the need for the UK to become self-sufficient.
Username Pia333 said: “We should aim for self-sufficiency wherever possible.”
And username Wilkiboo wrote: “The UK should be self-sufficient…we should use up the stock we already have especially if we are all supposed to be going green.”
While username ducs said: “We have to have access to our own reserves. We can take cheap oil from other countries to increase our stored reserves, but recent events have shown we have to be self-sufficient in production.”
Ministers in the UK agree, arguing that the UK needs to achieve energy “independence” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has thrown Europe’s dependence on oil and gas imports into stark relief.
Downing Street said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had “deep concerns about the chaos unleashed by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and stressed the importance of working together to improve stability in the global energy market”.
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However, some users felt a deal with Saudi Arabia would be a risk and the UK should use its own reserves first.
Username Geordie Exile said: “The Saudis can turn the taps on quickly, but our own oil should be made available as soon as it can be.”
And username Loony said: “We are sitting on adequate supplies in oil and shale. Postpone ‘green’ for the time being and get real.”
Although others thought a deal with Saudi Arabia would be a short-term solution to the energy crisis while the UK sets up and increases production.
Username BobPage said: “Do both, new North Sea fields will take a few years to come online. In the meantime, do a deal with Saudi.”
In reply, username sam the man wrote: “Use them both.”
Earlier this week, Mr Johnson travelled to the Middle East to meet with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed with hopes of negotiating a deal on oil production.
There are concerns over the potential move due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the country’s involvement in the war in Yemen.
Following his visit to the Middle East, Mr Johnson declined to confirm result of his trip but said: “We discussed everything that you would expect, so I raised human rights, but we also talked about what we can do to stabilise oil prices, to fight inflation, to help consumers, to help people at the gas pumps, at the petrol pumps.
“A lot of agreement that it’s important to avoid inflation, to avoid the damaging economic consequences, an agreement that we need to work together to bring peace to Ukraine.
“I thanked the Saudis for what they’re doing ‒ they joined the UN resolution in condemning what Russia has done. Both agreed that we need to see an end to Putin’s war.”
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