Newly appointed UK Prime Minister Theresa May has shuttered the country’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, May has decided to close the DECC and hand the agency’s responsibilities over to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Greg Clark, a Conservative who previously served in the Department for Communities and Local Government, will head BEIS.
“I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change,” Clark said in a statement on Thursday.
BEIS will now be responsible for developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading the government’s relationship with business, furthering science and research efforts, securing energy supplies that are ” reliable, affordable and clean” and “dealing with climate change.”
The BEIS said that, while the move has been criticized by environmentalist groups, the department remains committed to climate change issues.
“Tackling climate change remains a key priority for the government with the creation of BEIS and is essential in ensuring economic prosperity and security for our country,” the agency said.
The reshuffling comes just weeks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, prompting then Prime Minister David Cameron to resign. He had led the losing “stay” campaign.
Although the UK North Sea is home to several large fields, the region is contending with a slew of maturing assets, falling production and declining investment levels.
Royal Dutch Shell is currently in the process of decommissioning its Brent field platforms where production peaked at more than 500,000 barrels per day in 1982.
Despite declining production in the North Sea, the UK is currently the largest producer of oil and the second largest producer of natural gas in the European Union, according to the EIA.