US energy policy change repercussions for UK

30th January 2017 | Commercial Energy

The new US energy policy from the new president who plans to put domestic energy production at the centre of the country’s policy will have consequences around the world. This will include repercussions for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Energy expert, Bob Ruddiman from the law firm Pinsent Masons, said the UK was “not immune” to likely impact of president Trump’s “America First Energy Plan.” However, the North Sea was well placed to develop a positive relationship with the new administration, thanks to continuing investment opportunities and a highly skilled workforce.

Theresa May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May was the first foreign leader to meet the new US president this week at the White House. Topics of discussion were expected to include a potential free-trade agreement and the importance of supporting the NATO alliance. Ruddima said that “energy security and collaboration” should also be high on the leaders’ agenda, following the publication of Trump’s plans to end American dependence on foreign oil by boosting production from shale oil, gas and “clean” coal.

“The UK – and North Sea in particular – enjoys a world-leading position in subsea technology and a free trade agreement between our countries is vital if we are to continue to export skills and technologies to American markets, not to mention continuing the free movement, in both directions, of highly skilled technicians, engineers and support staff who keep the supply chains in both jurisdictions well oiled,” Ruddiman said.

“Fortunately, on the investment front, interest in acquiring North Sea assets continues to generate activity and directives from Washington DC should not impact greatly as investors tend to take a global approach to portfolio building. Recent deals involving North American players include Suncor energy taking a 30% stake in the Rosebank development offshore Shetland and Blackstone

Energy Partners supporting acquisitive North Sea company Siccar Point, which underlines a healthy interest in assets as an attractive investment,” he said.

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