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North Sea oil, gas focus wrong move, green group says

Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:01 AM

LONDON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Friends of the Earth said a report from retired British oil mogul Ian Wood, which calls for more North Sea oil and gas production, poses a threat to the climate.

"If we want to avoid catastrophic climate change the world can't burn more than a third of even its existing fossil fuel reserves," campaigner Simon Bullock said in a statement Monday.

The World Meteorological Organization said last week the burning of fossil fuels was, in part, responsible for global warming trends

Wood, a former chief executive of Scottish energy company Wood Group, was commissioned by the British government in June to review the British offshore oil and gas industry.

Wood's 10-page report, published Monday, said the British Department of Energy and Climate Change, the industry's regulator, is spread too thin to manage the offshore sector effectively. He wants a new regulator to oversee the industry and a strategy for "maximizing the economic recovery" of oil and gas for the country.

If his recommendations are implemented, he says the industry could pull more oil and natural gas from the North Sea and generate $319 billion in additional revenue for the British economy.

Bullock said the government should focus more on energy efficiency and the renewable energy sector instead of the oil and natural gas industry.

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