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United Kingdom getting greener

Dec. 21, 2012 at 6:59 AM

LONDON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Oil and natural gas production in the United Kingdom declined more than 10 percent for the year but offshore wind generation increased, the government said.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change announced domestic production of fuels in the country declined 7.3 percent during the third quarter of 2012 when compared to the previous year.

"Production of oil fell by 12.1 percent whilst gas fell by 11.3 as a result of maintenance work and delays on a number of fields," the government's report stated.

The British government announced last week it was imposing new risk controls that means hydraulic fracturing of shale gas can get under way in the country. Exploratory work was halted last year at a site in northwestern England because of small tremors associated with fracking operations.

The bulk of the region's energy reserves lie in the North Sea. The U.S. Energy Department's reporting agency said the country remains a net energy importer.

For renewables, the DECC reported that offshore wind energy generation increased more than 50 percent during the reporting period while onshore wind increased by 38 percent. Hydroelectric power production, however, declined by 16 percent because of low rainfall.

Renewables represented 11.7 percent of the country's electricity generation during the third quarter of 2012.

"Overall low-carbon fuels accounted for a record share of 34 percent of generation," the agency said.

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