Climate campaigners have said that the sale of the controversial Cambo oil field ‘doesn’t change the facts’ about its impact on climate change and energy bills.

Ithaca Energy has acquired the controlling 70% stake in the Cambo oil field as part of its takeover of Aberdeen-based Siccar Point Energy. Shell holds the remaining 30% stake in Cambo, and has said its position to withdraw from the field remains unchanged.

The change of ownership does not mean that the field has been approved for development. The new owners will still need to apply to the regulator for permission to extract any oil and gas.

Ithaca Energy has also acquired a 20% ownership stake in the huge unopened Rosebank oil field, West of Shetland. Neither the Cambo or Rosebank fields would start producing oil and gas for years.

Experts have made it clear that increasing the supply of oil and gas will take decades to deliver, won’t have any real downward effect on household bills and will endanger people by accelerating climate change and extreme weather.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Climate and Energy Campaigner Caroline Rance said,

“It doesn’t matter which profiteering fossil fuel company has their name on the Cambo licence, it doesn’t change the facts about this doomed oil field. Exploiting Cambo will do nothing for soaring energy bills but it will further risk our collective safety by worsening climate change.”

“The new owners of Cambo will be desperate to profit from their billion pound gamble meaning that they will be hellbent on selling any oil they might extract to the highest international bidder. Ithaca would take the profits but the public would bear the risk.”

“The suggestion that increasing UK oil and gas production will protect consumers is simply false. Opening new oil fields like Cambo and Rosebank would further lock us into a broken fossil fuel energy system that is already unaffordable for millions of households in the UK and is driving the climate emergency.

“The UK Government must reject Cambo and all new fields, and both the UK and Scottish Governments must urgently focus on scaling up renewable energy, insulating homes and rapidly increasing the number of homes using green heat systems.”

The Scottish Government, Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats have all spoken out against the Cambo project due to the devastating climate impact of the 800 million barrels of oil it contains. 90,000 people wrote to Boris Johnson telling him to reject the project, and plans to open the field were criticised by global figures at COP26.


Ithaca Energy bought over Siccar Point Energy and controlling stake in Cambo field

UKCCC advice to UK Government on future oil and gas licensing, Feb 2022
“The best way of reducing the UK’s future exposure to these volatile prices is to cut fossil fuel consumption on the path to Net Zero – improving energy efficiency, shifting to a renewables-based power system and electrifying end uses in transport, industry and heating. Any increases in UK extraction of oil and gas would have, at most, a marginal effect on the prices faced by UK consumers in future.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.