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Halting Cambo Oilfield Exposes The UK To Energy Shortages

Recent suggestions that the UK should not allow the Cambo oil and gas field development west of Shetland risk exposing the UK to energy shortages and even higher energy bills, the UK’s offshore industry body OGUK said on Monday.

Last week, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the Cambo oilfield “should not get the green light.”

The Cambo field, led by operator Siccar Point Energy with Shell as a partner with a 30-percent stake, is expected to help reduce the volume of imports required to meet energy demand in the UK, by delivering up to 170 million barrels of oil equivalent during its 25-year operational life, Siccar Point says.

If approved by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), drilling at Cambo could begin as early as next year.

Last week, Sturgeon told members of the Scottish Parliament that “the presumption would be that Cambo could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment.”

The UK government and the OGA have ultimate authority to say whether the field should be approved for development.

Following the debate over whether or not Cambo should be allowed to proceed to development, OGUK, the main industry body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry said that “Blocking long-planned oil and gas projects would risk leaving UK consumers even more exposed to the global energy shortages that sent bills soaring this winter.”

“OGUK is warning that if new projects like Cambo are not approved then UK production would plummet with gas output, for example, falling up to 75% by 2030. This would leave the UK increasingly reliant on imported energy,” the industry body said. 

OGUK’s research has shown that the UK has increased its reliance on other countries and already imports half of its natural gas, it added.

“If we cut our own supplies of gas and oil faster than we can reduce demand then we will have to import more of what we need. Our import bills will go up without any reduction in emissions,” said Deirdre Michie, chief executive of OGUK.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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