Environmental campaigners have slammed oil giant Shell for trying to capitalise on the war in Ukraine as an excuse to expand their UK oil and gas operations.

Reports say that Shell is reconsidering their decision to pull out of the controversial Cambo oil field due to the rising global oil price which the Russian invasion has helped push higher.

Shell has also re-submitted plans to drill the Jackdaw field, in the North Sea 155 miles east of Aberdeen, after the initial application was rejected by the UK Government’s regulator in October 2021.

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

Shell declared $19.3 billion (£14.5b) in profits for 2021 on the same day in February as OFGEM increased the energy price cap by 54%.

Neither the Cambo or Jackdaw fields would start producing oil and gas for years. If approved, Jackdaw wouldn’t begin producing until the end of 2025. Experts have said that granting consent for new fields and increasing UK oil and gas production will do nothing to bring down soaring energy bills.

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

“Opening new oil fields like Cambo and Jackdaw would further lock us into a broken fossil fuel energy system that is already unaffordable for millions of households in the UK and is worsening the climate emergency.

“Shell made obscene levels of profit last year, while millions of people in the UK have been forced into fuel poverty from soaring energy bills. Now Shell is seeking to capitalise on rising oil prices, partly due to the war in Ukraine, to expand control over our energy system and further boost profits.

“New fields approved today wouldn’t start producing for years, and would do absolutely nothing for people’s soaring energy bills this year. While any oil Shell might extract in years to come will be theirs to sell to the highest international bidder, not reserved for the UK. The suggestion that increasing UK oil and gas production will protect consumers is simply false.

“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.

“Renewables are already more affordable than fossil fuels and because of the urgency of climate change, every nation on earth should already be seeking to rapidly transition away from coal, oil and gas.

“The UK Government must reject Shell’s plans, 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.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

Shell reconsiders Cambo project https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60825744

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.”
https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/letter-climate-compatibility-of-new-oil-and-gas-fields/

Jackdaw field update https://www.ogj.com/exploration-development/article/14248206/shell-submits-amended-environmental-statement-for-jackdaw

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.