LONDON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Britain expects to approve 28 new oil and natural gas projects offshore amid renewed optimism of North Sea reserves, said British Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey told a parliamentary oil and natural gas group that at least 70 percent of the country's energy demands may be met by oil and natural gas through 2040.
"With 20 billion barrels or more still to be drawn from the U.K.'s North Sea fields, having an indigenous source helps prevent over-reliance on imports from more volatile parts of the world," he was quoted by energy news website Rigzone as saying.
Davey said the level of investments in new oil and natural gas projects supported in 2010 was 10 times the amount invested in the previous year.
"In 2012, 29 projects (were) approved with capital expenditure of over $17.3 billion," he was quoted as saying. "In 2013, we are already expecting around 28 new fields to get approval."
Davey in October said the government is committed to a goal of getting 30 percent of the country's electricity generated by renewable resources by 2020.
In 2010, the BBC reported that while offshore oil and natural gas production was in decline there has been a steady increase in estimates regarding untapped reserves.