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Calls to ramp up North Sea oil production to counter Putin’s threats

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Vladimir Putin has threatened to close Russia’s pipeline pumping in almost half of Europe's gas if there is a boycott of Russian fossil fuels.
This has led to warnings this could push up oil prices over $300 (€273) per barrel.
The war in Ukraine has sent markets into a panic because the West is so reliant on Russia for its energy, which brings in at least £100 billion-a-year (€91 billion) for the Kremlin that can be used to finance its invasion and occupation.
There are growing calls for Britain to ramp up production in the North Sea while Germany is also being urged to open up its historic gas fields.
Experts also believe that nations should ramp up nuclear output and consider relying more on coal-fired power stations in the short term, despite Europe's net zero pledges.
Oil prices have spiked to their highest levels since 2008. Joe Biden has announced the boycott of Russian oil imports into the US following relentless pressure from Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
European allies, who rely far more on the Kremlin's energy exports, are reportedly not joining the ban but were consulted by US officials, Bloomberg reported.
The wholesale cost of gas surged by 70% - to a record of 800 pence per therm - meaning that average energy bills could easily hit £4,000 (€3,650) or more this year.