Shell Cancels Plans To Develop Cambo North Sea Oilfield

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Oil company Royal Dutch Shell recently scrapped plans to continue its involvement in the Cambo North Sea Oilfield. The field is located near Scotland’s Shetland islands, making the potential oilfield expansion a flashpoint for climate activists in the UK.

Protestors demanded Shell to back out of the project, arguing that there is no need for further oil or gas production within the UK. After conducting a review of the project, Shell stated that it “concluded the economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough at this time, as well as having the potential for delays.”

Shell Pulls Out of Oilfield Deal

Shell had a 30 percent stake in the Cambo oilfield development agreement. The remaining stake belongs to Siccar Point, and the company plans to push forward with the development project. “Cambo remains critical to the UK’s energy security and economy,” Jonathan Roger, Siccar Point’s CEO, said following the news.

“Whilst we are disappointed at Shell’s change of position … we will continue to engage with the UK Government and wider stakeholders on the future development of Cambo,” Roger continued.

Activists say the new oilfield is pointless since the UK is pushing to dramatically reduce its greenhouse emissions by 2030.

Opposition to the Project

The UK government approved a license to develop the Cambo oilfield years ago. Activists are now calling on Parliament to reassess drilling agreements that the body voted for before passing recent climate laws. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has urged Parliament to revoke the license to streamline the UK’s transition away from fossil fuels.

The UK has passed laws that will ban the sale of conventional gas-powered vehicles as soon as 2030. Hybrid cars will be legal until 2035, after which point all new automobiles sold in the UK will be electric cars. This looming petrol ban has climate advocates asking why the Cambo field is necessary.

Climate Advocates Celebrate Shell Leaving Cambo

“This is a small step in the right direction in the fight against fossil fuels,” Scottish environmental scientist Mara tells Euronews reporters, referring to Shell’s decision to leave the project. However, Siccar Point’s decision to push forward with the project concerns her.

“How can the UK host COP26 and claim to be a green leader, while facilitating projects like this? We know from the IPCC report that extraction simply has to stop. It’s a positive move that Shell has withdrawn though and shows the power of public pressure and grassroots activism.”