Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing a new UK energy strategy, which could involve more North Sea oil & gas production.
In a series of tweets Kwarteng said the UK would «phase out» the import of «Russian oil & oil products» by the end of 2022.
- This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand Businesses should use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected
Kwarteng also announced a new «Taskforce on Oil» which would support business in using this period to source alternative supplies.
- The UK is a significant producer of oil and oil products, plus we hold significant reserves
- Beyond Russia, the vast majority of our imports come from reliable partners such as the US, Netherlands and the Gulf
- The UK would work with these producers during this year to secure further supplies
- In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions
- The market has already begun to ostracise Russian oil, with nearly 70% of it currently unable to find a buyer
- Finally, while the UK is not dependent on Russian natural gas – 4% of our supply – I am exploring options to end this altogether
Commenting on the announcement, SNP MP for Aberdeen South and SNP BEIS Spokesperson, Stephen Flynn, said:
- The announcement only serves to emphasise the importance of our North Sea Oil & Gas sector – energy security is not a choice, it is a necessity
- Aberdeen can and must play a central role as we move to secure both our own energy supply, but also that of our European neighbours
- The UK is not deeply dependant on Russian oil & gas, we can revert to LNG and other sources
- This shoudl be done not 'over time' but immediately
- Italy and Germany face an extreme challenge, but Britain can act more easily, and should.
- At once.