The United Kingdom will auction around a hundred new licenses to extract gas and oil in the North Sea, the government announced on Friday. The decision has drawn criticism from climate experts.
Nearly 900 oil and gas extraction locations have been demarcated off the British coast, and are located generally close to existing infrastructure.
Currently, from the discovery of a field to the beginning of production, it takes around five years, but this could go faster now, according to the North Sea Transition Authority.
According to the sector organisation Offshore Energies UK, 15 billion barrels of crude oil could be pumped into the North Sea.
While the British government welcomes the economic opportunity represented by the extraction, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is said to be critical of the move. For the group of experts on the climate, projects involving fossil energy should be stopped rather than extended.