The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with oil giant Shell in a bid to reduce environmental impacts and identify opportunities.
The arrangement will enable Shell to use NERC’s world-leading environmental science to help them implement sustainable and efficient business practices and receive independent, objective advice. At the same time, the MoU will help the NERC to fulfil its goal to support economic growth and address societal challenges in the environment.
By collaborating with Shell, the NERC says it will be able to build a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the oil giant, and as a result the wider energy industry, to ensure the output of its research is relevant and can be used by the company.
Prof Duncan Wingham, chief executive of NERC, said, “One of the central tenets of NERC’s new strategy is to develop new partnerships with UK business to help them use relevant environmental science required to drive innovation.
“It’s hard to think of a sector of the UK economy where the need for understanding of the environment is greater than in the oil and gas industry. The MoU is another step towards making sure the NERC contributes to ensuring growth with responsible environmental management for the sector.”
A federal appeals court recently ruled that Shell was wrongly awarded offshore oil leases in the Chukchi Sea near Alaska in 2008. Following the ruling the company announced it would suspend its controversial plans for drilling in the Arctic after witnessing a 39% annual net profits slump.