Norwegian oil giant Equinor has today announced Q1 pre-tax profits of £9.5billion (US$12billion), prompting outrage from climate campaigners.

Last year, Equinor broke records with pre-tax profits of £62 billion (US$74.9billion), benefitting from increased prices for oil and gas due to the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, energy bills for consumers skyrocketed and thousands were pushed into fuel poverty.

Despite their claims to be a ‘broad energy company’ more than 99 percent of Equinor’s energy production comes from fossil fuels. Equinor is currently awaiting UK Government approval to develop the controversial Rosebank oilfield in the North Sea.

Rosebank is the largest undeveloped oilfield in the UK, containing over 500 million barrels of oil. 80% of this oil would be exported and sold on the open market, making little difference to energy bills for people in the UK, yet the UK Government is expected to give Equinor a tax break of £3.75 billion for developing the field, covering 91% of its total cost from the public purse.

There has been widespread opposition to the Rosebank field, with public protests across the UK, politicians including Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero Ed Miliband MP and Conservative former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore MP speaking out against the development, and hundreds of climate scientists sending an open letter to Rishi Sunak telling him to oppose the field.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s oil and gas campaigner Freya Aitchison said:

“This announcement of yet another obscene profit for Equinor is proof that the UK public are getting a terrible deal from the oil and gas industry. As the UK Government continues to pump public money into subsidising new fields and propping up the very industry destroying our collective future, companies like Equinor are banking outrageous profits quarter after quarter.

“People are dying because they are living in cold homes, yet the UK Government has made a deliberate choice to support the companies that are causing this devastation instead of helping people escape the shackles of this fossil-fuelled energy system.

“To bring down bills and make our energy system cleaner and more reliable, the UK Government must reject Equinor’s plans for Rosebank and say no to all new oil and gas developments. We need a rapid and just transition to renewable energy that centres workers and communities, not greedy companies like Equinor profiting from climate breakdown.”


Over 1,000 dead in December 2022 due to cold homes

Equinor energy mix: (Google translated) https://www-greenpeace-org.translate.goog/norway/nyheter/energi/det-brede-energiselskapet-equinor-er-fortsatt-over-99-prosent-fossilt/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Opposition to Rosebank field approval:

Ed Miliband https://www.cityam.com/miliband-slams-north-sea-oil-and-gas-field-as-he-unveils-labours-green-day/
Chris Skidmore https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/25/tory-former-net-zero-tsar-chris-skidmore-calls-for-halt-to-rosebank-north-sea-oil-project
130,000 people signed a petition to the Prime Minister https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/130-000-people-demand-the-uk-government-stoprosebank

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.