Older readers who can remember the 1970's (I just about can't, so making the most of this to annoy Mr. Drew) would be forgivne for laughing until their sides split at the idea of the region becoming a net-zero carbon emmissions zone. The whole sea was swathed in a fleet of oil and gas rigs sucking up liquid cash for around 20 good years for the UK.
Now though the Government has decided to help the area become a net zero area, with huge further investments in offshore wind. This comes of course with a reduction in oil extraction. It has long been the case that the oil Major's have been selling down their assets - aware that many have become liabilities with a cash payment upfront rather than long term assets. The decommissioning costs a huge for offshore infrastructure.
The Government is being bold, but given there are only 10 points in its white paper it is also being very thin. Additionally, the National Infrastructure whie paper is almost more important than the overall energy white paper - without the capacity in the Grid to cope with the vagueries of wind and solar power, there can't really be a big charge toward net zero except with Nuclear power, which is only foreseen as a supporting element from here on.
Shame the fields in the North Sea could not last a bit longer, the Government could really have done with the cash now too.