Recent News

Dismal Q1 sees global upstream oil and gas deals fetch just $9.8 billion

Evaluate Energy’s recent M&A report analyzing global upstream activity shows that just $9.8 billion of new oil and gas M&A deals were agreed during the first quarter of 2019.

This represents a 61% drop on spending in Q4 2018 and a 75% drop compared with Q1 2018.

Low oil prices and changing spending priorities were the two main causes. The full report is available now at this link.

Oil finding costs reach ten-year low – report

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has used Evaluate Energy data to show that the finding costs for 116 global exploration and production companies hit a 10-year low in 2018, while finding and lifting costs combined were similar to costs recorded in 2017.


Why growing gas demand and coal’s revival raises vital questions over energy policy and social licence

Gas is set to become an increasingly important part of the world’s energy mix … at least for the next two or three decades. Specifically, by 2050, oil and gas is predicted to account for 40 per cent of the total, according to a recent DNV GV report highlighted in UK Energy Strategies’ weekly Monitoring Service.

An increasing global demand for oil and gas surely makes it all-the-more important that Britain, like many other import-dependent economies, has access to its own, reliable, independent and, crucially, secure supply. In this context, the apparent ‘nimbyism’ of activists objecting to increased extraction of our own onshore natural gas could be portrayed as being contrary to Britain’s long-term interests.

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The British experience — characterized by conflict and contradictions over energy extraction — serves as a proxy for many jurisdictions.

The timing of DNV GV’s report is surely not just coincidental with the recent rise in gas prices to a 10-year high. Experts argue that the rise in gas prices has made coal more economical as a fuel for power stations. The potential long-term environmental effects of a ‘coal revival’ for reasons of short-term economic gain can only be seen as a large step backwards for Britain.

The impact of a ‘coal revival’ is greater than purely environmental. In 2017, before the rise in gas prices, the U.K. imported 8.5 million tonnes of the 11.52 million tonnes of coal it consumed — over 70 per cent. A ‘coal revival’ would surely see this percentage rise, leading to the conclusion that coal is not a secure source of energy for Britain in the 21st century, let alone a desirable one.

Britain needs a low-carbon, secure and diverse energy mix going forwards. The UK Energy Strategies Weekly Monitoring Service frequently reports the latest successes in the renewables sector and it is clear that renewable energy is already a significant and growing part of Britain’s energy mix. But what about oil and gas?

Britain is in the fortunate position to have a largely untapped supply of oil and gas under sovereign soil. Unfortunately, the nascent industry seeking to take advantage of this opportunity has so far struggled to secure the social licence in support of both the principle and of the necessary extraction techniques, which would then, in effect, enable government to support its activities. Cuadrilla is now just starting to frack its site in Lancashire, and we await the impact of those activities.

Industry must engage with and demonstrate to communities — including the activists — that appropriate measures are in place to make British onshore natural gas exploration and extraction as safe and environmentally friendly as possible. Unless and until they are, we will surely see more companies experiencing the same delaying tactics that Cuadrilla has experienced at Preston, which will not only keep the costs of extraction higher than arguably necessary, but will also potentially create supply issues for Britain in the future.

So, the recent appointment of a commissioner for this emerging industry should be seen as a positive step. Industry should make full and good use of the engagement opportunities this appointment presents, both with communities, and with local and national government.

While UK Energy Strategies has recognized the need for the oil and gas sector to secure its vital social licence, this has not, as yet, seemingly been translated into the necessary program of action by industry. UKES would be delighted to assist industry — across the energy sector — to work with both government and communities to present its case.

Ian Derbyshire is chief executive of UK Energy Strategies.

Originally posted on JWN Energy –

DNV GL’s report can be found here –

UK energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry on gas and electricity trade

On Tuesday 23rd October 2018, energy and clean growth minister, Claire Perry, said that EU countries have a “strong commercial reason” to maintain gas and electricity trade across the English Channel.

Read the article published on Climate Home News here –

​Climate change challenges and business realities – new report

By Paul Harris, UK Energy Strategies

Oct. 20, 2018

The stark reality facing policy makers trying to meet climate change targets while keeping industry productive is highlighted in UK Energy Strategies’ free weekly monitoring report.


The U.K.’s energy minister announced that the country aims to cut all emissions by 2050 — with transport, aviation, farming and power industries ordered to comply. Still more new research identified that meeting U.K. government targets of 80 per cent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century will require sweeping policy change.

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Each week UK Energy Strategies monitors developments across several key energy sectors and summarizes them in a free report. Follow the link above to view the latest and subscribe for free.

Originally posted –

Call for CCUS Innovation

On 31st July 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched a £15M call for Carbon Capture Utilisation Storage Innovation projects that lead to significant reductions in the cost and deployment of  CCUS in UK & internationally.

Funding of up to £5 million will be considered for feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development projects; and up to £7 million for research infrastructure that enables the UK to conduct world-leading research and innovation into CCUS. Project funding will be available for up to 24 months, with projects finishing by 31st March 2021.

Applications are due by email to by Sunday 11th November 2018.

Further details can be found here –


CCUS Cost Challenge Task Force Report, “Delivering Clean Growth”

On 19th July 2018, the Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Taskforce presented its report, “Delivering Clean Growth” to Government. It set recommendations on how the UK can becoming a world leader in CCUS technology.

The Taskforce is chaired by Charlotte Morgan, a Partner in the Global Energy & Infrastructure Group at Linklaters, and is comprised of stakeholders and expertise from industry, academia, NGOs, and international organisations.

A copy of the report can be found here –