Role of the downstream sector in modern Britain
In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming - to become Net Zero - by 2050. Government has identified the need for clean growth which requires not just reduction of net emissions but also growth across the economy.
The UK offers advantages in terms of a transition to Net Zero which could make it a world leader, with good geology for Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), proximity to the European market along with strong import / export infrastructure, and transferable expertise from both upstream and downstream oil sectors to support key technologies such as hydrogen, carbon capture and low carbon fuels.
Use of existing downstream assets - including 6 major refineries, 60 terminals, 3000 miles of pipeline and over 8000 forecourts across the country - to deliver low carbon fuels, can reduce the pressure of delivering new infrastructure while also making emissions savings sooner with today’s vehicles and machinery.
This same infrastructure also can efficiently produce and deliver resilient supplies of the fuels the country needs. By virtue of its existing scale, location and expertise, the sector can enable at scale emission reductions of industrial clusters with downstream companies at the centre as both anchor customers and potential project leaders.
UKPIA aims to shape an energy-secure, low-carbon fuels future for the UK that benefits everyone. We support our members in leading the delivery of a flexible and resilient fuels supply chain for the UK, both today and in the low-carbon future of tomorrow.