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EIA Country Brief – United Kingdom

EIA Full Report - June 3, 2014 [snipped]: “The United Kingdom (UK) is the sixth largest economy in the world, as well as the largest producer of oil and the second-largest producer of natural gas in the European Union (EU). Following years of exports of both fuels, the UK became a net importer of natural gas and crude oil in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Production from UK oil and natural gas fields peaked around the late 1990s and has declined steadily over the past several years as the discovery of new reserves and new production has not kept pace with the maturation of existing fields. The UK became a net importer of petroleum products in 2013, making it a net importer of all fossil fuels for the first time. The UK government, aware of the country’s increasing reliance on imported fuels, has developed key energy policies to address the domestic production declines. These include: using enhanced recovery from current and maturing oil and gas fields, promoting energy efficiency, decreasing the use of fossil fuels and thus reliance on imports, promoting energy trade cooperation with Norway, and decarbonizing the UK economy by investing heavily in renewable energy. However, for the UK to decarbonize its economy, huge investments in the energy infrastructure are needed. Renewable energy use, particularly in the electric power sector, has more than tripled between 2000 and 2012. However, petroleum and natural gas continue to account for the vast majority of UK’s energy consumption. In 2012, petroleum and natural gas accounted for 37 and 33%, respectively, of total energy consumption. Coal also continues to be a significant part of total energy consumption (16% in 2012).”

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