Britain’s oil and gas regulator has given the go-ahead to develop the UK’s biggest untapped oilfield off the Shetland Islands.
Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has been given the green light to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field, which is one of the biggest undeveloped fields on the British continental shelf, capable of producing up to 500 million barrels of oil.
In a statement this morning, the North Sea Transition Authority said: “We have today approved the Rosebank Field Development Plan (FDP) which allows the owners to proceed with their project.
“The FDP is awarded in accordance with our published guidance and taking net zero considerations into account throughout the project’s lifecycle.”
The decision is a major boost to the UK’s energy security with forecasts showing that Rosebank could produce about eight percent of the UK’s projected daily output between 2026 and 2030.
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Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho said she supported the decision, explaining: “We are investing in our world-leading renewable energy but, as the independent Climate Change Committee recognise, we will need oil and gas as part of that mix on the path to net zero and so it makes sense to use our own supplies from North Sea fields such as Rosebank.”
But the permission has angered environmentalists with Greta Thunberg calling on the UK Government to halt the development.
Co-director of Green New Deal Rising Hannah Martin said: “Approving the Rosebank oil field is an act of climate vandalism by Rishi Sunak and his Government … but Labour has not committed to reversing this decision, despite acknowledging that Rosebank’s approval is wrong.
“This position does not make sense, and there is still time for Keir Starmer to put himself on the right side of history and show leadership by committing to revoking Rosebank’s licence.”
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