Britain will step up oil production after Russian import phase out - minister

Models of pump jack and oil barrels are seen in front of the displayed UK and Russia flag colours in this illustration taken March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - Britain will step up its production of oil and gas after saying it will ban Russian oil imports at the end of the year, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Wednesday.

Britain said on Tuesday it would phase out imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022 and consider banning its natural gas, joining other countries like the United States in a move to punish Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine. read more

"We're fortunate in the UK that we don't buy proportionately very much Russian oil and gas and we do also produce our own so we'll step that up as well," Shapps told Sky News.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson has promised to set out a new energy supply strategy, as his government braces for the fallout from a 54% jump in consumer gas and electricity bills from April, and higher prices at petrol pumps.

But Shapps said he thought Britons would accept the financial cost of the ban.

"Even though it will, of course, lead to some higher energy prices - although we've probably already seen that, they're happening already - the British people are not prepared to see us funding Putin's horrific war," he said.

Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Paul Sandle

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