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Jacob Rees-Mogg meets energy giants in bid to boost North Sea oil and gas supplies

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been meeting oil and gas companies in a bid to boost North Sea supplies amid an ongoing energy crisis.

It is understood that the Brexit Opportunities Minister and Liz Truss-backer held talks with energy giants including Shell over recent days, ahead of a desperate winter which will see energy bills spike to new records – driven by fears of supply shortages.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is also looking to seal deals with companies operating in the waters of friendly allies such as Norway.

There is confusion over whether Rees-Mogg met oil and gas companies in his role as a Minister or as a supporter of Liz Truss – with multiple Government departments refusing to comment.

There is confusion over whether Rees-Mogg met oil and gas companies in his role as a Minister or as a supporter of Liz Truss – with multiple Government departments refusing to comment.

Liz Truss’ senior team has claimed the meetings were set up by civil servants, and was not linked to her campaign, however it is unclear why the Brexit Opportunities Minister would be holding the meeting instead of Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng or Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

Liz Truss – who is expected to be named Prime Minister next month – is keen to ramp up domestic energy generation as quickly as possible to secure the UK’s energy independence.

There are escalating concerns of supply shortages this winter, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) factoring in potentially four days of blackouts this winter as an extreme worst-case scenario.

Wholesale prices have spiked in recent weeks to new records across Europe, with Russia squeezing supplies into the troubled continent, cutting Nord Stream 1 gas flows to 20 per cent of capacity.

Meanwhile, Ofgem has finally unveiled the energy price cap for October – announcing that average energy bills will spike 80 per cent to £3,549 per year in just five weeks’ time.

Energy specialist Cornwall Insight predicted the cap will climb over £6,000 next year, peaking at £6,616 next April.

Offshore Energies UK described the ongoing talks as a “responsible action by what could be an incoming administration to consult with the energy industry at a time of crisis.”

The industry body will publish a new economic report next week revealing that the UK continental shelf still contains as much as 15bn barrels of oil – enough for 15 years of domestic consumption, more than previous forecasts suggesting there were eight years of supplies left.

However, further North Sea oil and gas exploration requires a fresh licensing round, which is dependent on defining new climate regulations.

The licensing is expected this winter, but no date has been established, with process being delayed amid the leadership election.

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