Climate campaigners have welcomed the news that a decision on the controversial Rosebank oil field could be delayed until the autumn.

City AM reported this morning that due to concerns about whether Rosebank would conform to new net zero regulations, a decision on whether the field should start development would be delayed until after summer recess at Westminster, having previously been expected for July.

The article states that concerns relate to the potential for electrifying the oil field, as if Rosebank is not powered by renewable energy it will not meet the emissions reductions requirements of the North Sea Transition Deal.

Rosebank is the biggest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea and if all the oil and gas contained within it is burned it will produce the equivalent CO2 emissions of the annual emissions of 28 low income countries.

Along with a 130,000 person strong petition opposing the development, the project has faced sustained criticism from climate campaigners, across the political spectrum and from academics and climate scientists.

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

“This is the latest in a long series of delays showing that the pressure from campaigners and across civil society to stop the disastrous Rosebank field is working. However, the UK Government needs to end its climate denial and say no to Rosebank once and for all.

“The vast majority of the emissions from any oil field comes from burning the oil and gas extracted, not from the production process. The claim that companies will power the extraction with renewable energy are a greenwashing distraction from the true damage this field will cause.

“The wind farm on Shetland that is earmarked to provide electricity to Rosebank and other oil fields could either power three new oil fields or all the homes in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Shetland put together. It should be a no-brainer that this clean power should be used to bring down people’s energy bills and not to prolong the lifespan of the oil and gas industry.

“The Scottish Government needs to find its voice and join the chorus who strongly oppose this disastrous project adding to the pressure on the UK Government to say no to Rosebank.”

Notes to Editors

‘Rosebank faces fresh delay with regulator concerned by net zero goals at Britain’s biggest oil and gas field’, City AM, 11/7/23

‘New windfarm could be used to power North Sea oilfield’, The Guardian, 24/6/23

Rosebank oil field explainer

‘UK scientists urge Rishi Sunak to halt new oil and gas developments’, The Guardian, 29/3/23

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.