Rosebank development given green light by regulator


Rosebank oil field has been given the green light by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to produce fossil fuels.

The field owners Equinor and Ithaca Energy estimate Rosebank could produce 69,000 or oil and 44 million cubic feet of gas per day at its peak.

The news follows prime minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement to issue hundred of new oil and gas licenses for the North Sea and a £20 billion funding for carbon capture to “power up Britain,” an announcement that came with massive backlash.

A North Sea Transition Authority spokesperson said the project has been approved in accordance with its published guidelines and “taking net zero considerations into account throughout the project’s lifecycle.”

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Energy security secretary Claire Coutinho said that while the country is investing in clean energy, the government is following the Climate Change Committee’s advice on oil and gas.

“We are investing on 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,” said Coutinho.

“The jobs and billions of pounds this is worth to our economy will enable us to have greater energy independence.

“We will continue to back the UK’s oil and gas industry to underpin our energy security, grow our economy and help us deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner energy,” Coutinho added.

Greenpeace climate campaigner Philip Evans said the Rosebank approval has put “the profits of oil companies above everyday people.”

“We know that relying on fossil fuels is terrible for our energy security, the cost of living, and the climate,” he added. “Our sky-high bills and recent extreme weather have shown us that.”

“This decision is nothing but carte blanche to fossil fuel companies to ruin the climate, punish bill payers, and siphon off obscene profits,” Evans continued.

“But we already have the solutions to cut bills, increase energy security and cut emissions, but the government ignores them in favour of handouts to corporations at the expense of the rest of us.”

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Russell Borthwick told the BBC that the Rosebank approval will make an “Important contribution to UK and European energy security, create several hundred new jobs here in Scotland and result in over £6 billion being spent within the UK supply chain which is anchored in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome shot in arm for the UK energy sector which will give investors, operators and the wider supply chain confidence as they strive to provide the power we need here and now and transition towards a net zero future,” continued Borthwick.


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