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March 23, 2022

Shell re-examining decision to exit from UK North Sea oil field

Shell owns a 30% stake in the Cambo field, which is situated more than 1,000 metres underwater.

Energy giant Shell is reassessing its recent decision to abandoned plans to develop the Cambo oilfield, in the UK North Sea, reported the BBC.

In December 2021, the firm said it had pulled out of the Cambo project, which is situated more than 1,000 metres underwater, citing weak economics.

The move also followed campaigns against the project by climate activists over its non-compliance with the country’s environmental goals.

The review of the decision by Shell comes amid surging global oil prices. When the decision was first made, crude oil prices were below $70 a barrel. Prices have now surged to more than $100 per barrel, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Shell owns a 30% stake in the Cambo field, which is expected to have an operational life of 25 years. Siccar Point holds the remaining stake of 70%.

Sources familiar with development told the BBC that Shell’s official stance on the project remains unchanged.

In response to the reports, climate activists warned that Shell’s move would further affect emissions reductions targets, reported The Guardian.

Criticising the possible reopening of the project, Greenpeace UK oil and gas transition campaigner Philip Evans said: “The type of oil that can be extracted from Cambo is not usable in the UK, so this project will do nothing to tackle high bills or shore up energy security.”

Last week, Shell resubmitted an application for developing the Jackdaw gas field in the UK North Sea, according to BBC.

It follows the rejection of previous applications by environmental regulators in October 2021.

To address regulatory concerns, the company said it altered the chemical processes to be used in the extraction of the gas.

Commenting on Shell’s move on the two projects, Friends of the Earth Scotland 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”.

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