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British economy still tied to oil

British economy will remain tied to oil long-term, government says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   April 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM
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LONDON, April 9 (UPI) -- Though the British economy is striving to focus more on renewable resources, oil will continue to play a crucial role, a government report said Wednesday.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change published its assessment of the downstream, or refining, sector of the industry. British Energy Minister Michael Fallon said the British economy will need more than 360 million barrels of oil products per year by 2030, compared with the estimated 445 million barrels per year consumed currently.

Fallon said the British economy is transitioning, but is still linked to oil despite the expected decline.

"As we progress toward a low-carbon economy in the United Kingdom, oil products are, and will continue to be, crucial to our economy and to consumers in the United Kingdom for some years to come," he said in a statement.

The country became a net importer of oil in 2005. Fallon said production from the British continental shelf is declining at a rate of around 7 percent per year.

In February, the British government said it expects to secure $330 billion in the next two decades through the recovery of the 3 billion to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent still left in the North Sea.

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