A Transition, Transformation, and Innovation towards Net-Zero in UK downstream

London, 19/10/2020 – The UK downstream oil sector is already playing a significant role in meeting societal targets for decarbonisation and is capable and willing to do more to reach Net-Zero, according to a new report released today.

UKPIA has launched its ground-breaking report titled - “Transition, Transformation, and Innovation: Our role in the Net-Zero Challenge”, which looks at credible scenarios and proposes an illustrative pathway for the UK downstream sector to achieve government mandated Net-Zero targets, with practical policy solutions to help overcome this challenge.

Transition, Transformation, and Innovation makes three key findings:

1) Low-carbon liquid fuels can play a key role in the UK’s decarbonisation - and are doing so already;

2) Hydrogen is a critical component of meeting Net-Zero – the downstream sector is the largest producer of hydrogen in the world and can maintain and grow its role in producing and delivering zero-carbon emitting hydrogen; and

3) A systems-based approach and enabling policy framework is required to produce low carbon- and eventually Net-Zero liquid fuels. As part of this, consider bespoke approaches for sectors with limited decarbonisation options like aviation.


Quotes attributed to UKPIA Director-General, Stephen Marcos Jones.

“This is an exciting yet challenging period of evolution for the downstream oil sector - we are committed to action on climate change and this report shows that within the right policy framework, this sector can transform and deliver Net-Zero.

We see hydrogen as a critical component of meeting Net-Zero – and while this is only now coming on many people’s radar, it is an area where the sector is the largest producer of hydrogen in the UK and can use that experience to maintain and grow its role in the emerging hydrogen economy.

Only with industry and government working hand-in-hand in a systems-based approach will the task of Net-Zero be achieved in the UK – as such, this report urges ongoing and rigorous dialogue to ensure optimal results. We want to work now across government to make this report a reality.”


Quotes attributed to Jacob Young MP – Member for Redcar

“I welcome the Transition, Transformation, and Innovation Report released by UKPIA which sets out the huge potential for the downstream oil sector to continue to be a valuable contributor to the UK economy for years to come.

Having worked in the in the Petrochemical industry prior to Parliament, I know that we need a sensible transition to help decarbonise these hard to abate sectors if we want to avoid the migration of jobs overseas.

The downstream oil sector employs over 100,000 in the UK, and so it’s really encouraging to see industry on the front foot and willing spell out how we will protect these jobs, while helping us transition to a Net-Zero economy.”


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Notes to Editors: 

  • The UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) represents eight oil refining and marketing companies that operate the six major oil refineries in the UK and source over 85% of the transport fuels used. UKPIA members also own around 1,250 of the UK's 8,476 filling stations in the UK. 
  • UKPIA’s members are BP, Essar, Exxonmobil, Petroineos, Phillips 66, Shell, Total and Valero.
  • The Transition, Transformation, and Innovation: Our role in the Net-Zero Challenge report is available here or in hard copy on request from the UKPIA Press Office. 


  • Jamie Baker, Director of External Relations, +44 (0) 2072 697 605 
  • Callan Tree, Communications & Membership Specialist, +44 (0) 7468 694 730
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