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The Cambo oilfield project in the UK North Sea, which has caused controversy in recent months and saw Shell exiting the plan for development last week, is now paused, the chief executive of the majority shareholder in the field said on Friday.
Shell announced last week that it would no longer proceed with its investment in the Cambo oil field. The supermajor has a 30% stake in the Cambo oilfield, while Siccar Point Energy holds the remaining 70% stake.
At the time, Siccar Point expressed its disappointment in Shell’s exit, and said it would need to review its options for Cambo.
Today, Siccar Point’s chief executive Jonathan Roger said, as carried by The Scotsman:
“Following Shell’s announcement last week, we are in a position where the Cambo project cannot progress on the originally planned timescale.”
“We are pausing the development while we evaluate next steps,” Roger said, adding that Siccar Point continues “to believe Cambo is a robust project that can play an important part of the UK’s energy security, providing homegrown energy supply and reducing carbon intensive imports, whilst supporting a just transition.”
Last week, Siccar Point said, “We will continue to engage with the UK Government and wider stakeholders on the future development of Cambo.”
Before Shell’s exit from Cambo—a project long opposed by environmental groups and recently, by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon—the UK’s offshore industry body OGUK said that scrapping Cambo risk exposing the UK to energy shortages and even higher energy bills.
Commenting on Shell’s exit from the Cambo project, Jenny Stanning, OGUK’s external relations director, said last week: “This is a commercial decision between partners but doesn’t change the facts that the UK will continue to need new oil and gas projects if we are to protect security of supply, avoid increasing reliance on imports and support jobs.”
While environmentalists cheered the halting of the project announced today, GMB, the energy union, said that “the decision to pause the Cambo oil field project amounts to a ‘surrender of the national interest.”
“The cheerleaders for Cambo’s shutdown aren’t just throwing energy workers under the bus, but also our security of supply for the gas we will still need on the road to 2050,” said Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com