Why we must come together to stop the Rosebank oil field
The world is facing ecological and political turmoil right now.
We are witnessing increasing climate-driven extreme weather events such as the floods in Pakistan, drought in East Africa and hurricanes in the US, and an escalating cost of living crisis that has pushed 7 million households across the UK into fuel poverty.
Yet the UK Government is responding to these multiple crises by scaling up oil and gas extraction and pouring more fuel on the fire.
Climate science is very clear that if we want to have a liveable future and keep people safe, we must rapidly stop burning fossil fuels. This means no new projects and a phase out of existing oil and gas fields this decade.
What is Rosebank?
One of the fossil fuel projects due to be fast-tracked by the government is the massive Rosebank oil field, which contains over 500 million barrels of oil.
It’s three times the size of the controversial Cambo oil field, which drew widespread protests and political opposition last year, and was eventually paused. The climate changing pollution produced by burning the oil and gas in this one field would be equal to the combined annual emissions of the world’s 28 lowest income countries, home to 700 million people.
We cannot allow Rosebank to go ahead.
No economic case for new oil and gas fields
Equinor, the Norwegian oil company behind the project, will receive a massive tax break for developing the Rosebank oil field. This is due to a deliberate loophole in the UK Government’s windfall tax on the obscene profits of oil and gas companies.
This money should have been helping people pay their skyrocketing energy bills this winter, but instead, it’s going towards increasing our reliance on the volatile fossil fuels that have driven the cost of living crisis in the first place. Every new oil and gas field that is approved will lock us into this polluting and broken energy system for decades to come.
80% of the oil extracted from UK fields is exported and sold on the open market, where the prices are set internationally so “UK oil” offers no advantage to people in the UK.
Even if Rosebank is approved for development now, the earliest it will extract any oil or gas is late 2026, which is too late to help with any supply issues this winter. It’s projected to go on extracting until 2051, which is well after the date at which we need to have completely phased out fossil fuels to have a chance at meeting our climate targets.
It is clear that increasing our domestic oil and gas production only benefits oil companies and will not make our energy supply more secure or bring down bills.
How we can campaign about Rosebank?
There is a growing campaign calling for the UK Government to reject plans for Rosebank to go ahead, as well as the 30 other new North Sea oil and gas projects that are in the pipeline.
Write to your MP and MSPs to ask them to publicly oppose Rosebank and put pressure on the UK and Scottish Governments to reject the plans. The opposition of the Scottish Government to the Cambo oil field last year was instrumental to the campaign and resulted in Shell pulling its funding from the project.
You can use our easy letter-writing tool to let your MP and MSPs know about the campaign below.
A huge 80,000 people have already signed a petition opposing the Rosebank oil field. Add your name here to make sure the UK Government hear our call.