Natural resources

Oil rig

The issue

Over the coming decades society faces a significant challenge to ensure a secure, safe and affordable energy mix while continuing to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

In pursuing its remit, NERC invests in world-leading research, training and innovation across the energy spectrum to provide society with evidence and expertise to inform decision-making.

Oil and gas currently provides 75% of the UK's primary energy source. Over the last five decades no other industrial sector has created more prosperity for the UK (source: UK O&G Industrial Sector strategy).

NERC Chief Executive Professor Duncan Wingham said:

Looking across the sectors that provide growth in the UK's economy, and where a strong understanding of the environment is absolutely essential, it is hard to think of one where the need is higher than in oil and gas. It's vital that NERC contributes to ensuring growth with responsible environmental management for the industry.

The UK has high levels of scientific and industrial capability in relation to oil and gas, reflecting the legacy of North Sea development. NERC is committed to working with the academic research base, business, policymakers and the third sector to ensure its investments in research, skills and technologies in oil and gas are translated for their maximum economic and societal impact.

We also plan to further develop innovation activity with the renewable energy sector and we are currently scoping what this interaction could look like.

Who should be interested?

Oil and gas companies and their supply chain, policymakers and regulators, environmental consultancies, and civil society.

Current activities

Current funding opportunities

The next funding call for the Innovation Programme in Oil and Gas will be focused on innovative environmental monitoring techniques (Announcement of Opportunity anticipated January/February 2017).


Sarah Keynes
01793 411541