BP and Shell could be asked to give evidence in the spring as part of an inquiry into the impact of drilling in the Arctic.
The Sunday Telegraph said Shell, BP and Cairn Energy were on a draft list of companies who could be called up before the Environmental Audit Committee as part of the Protecting the Arctic inquiry. The committee is to look into what the UK government can do to help protect the Arctic, whether this is through dialogue, treaties, regulations and incentives.
Joan Walley MP, chairwoman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Rising global temperatures caused by the burning of fossil fuels ironically look set to clear the way for a new oil and gas gold rush in the Arctic.
“We will be looking at what the UK government can do to ensure that the Arctic is protected and whether it is even possible to drill for oil and gas safely in such remote regions.”
While the UK has no jurisdiction over the Arctic, it is on the Arctic Council and has scientific and commercial interests in the region. The UK is also an observer state in the region, along with nations such as France, Germany and Spain.