The UK government has granted new licences for 27 oil and gas projects in the North Sea, despite data showing only a few weeks’ worth of fuel has been produced from projects approved under the Conservatives since 2010. Uplift’s survey of hundreds of new licences found they yielded just five new discoveries, containing the equivalent three weeks of oil and five weeks of gas over their lifetimes. Claire Couhtino, the energy secretary, said yesterday’s decision would help the industry support around 200,000 jobs and improve energy security. Business leaders are more sceptical: Amanda Blanc, chief executive of Aviva, has sounded alarm over the “dilution” of climate policies and plans to expand North Sea production, which a recent report by the insurer called “a worrying shift”. Theresa May’s pride in UK leadership on the road to net zero feels a distant memory.