Cambo oilfield should not get greenlight – Nicola Sturgeon

The proposed Cambo oilfield off Shetland “should not get the green light”, Nicola Sturgeon said today.

Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament, 16 November 2021.
Photo: Scottish Parliament TV

Scotland’ first minister had previously called for the controversial new development to be reassessed.

But today she told MSPs:

I don’t think we can go on extracting new oil and gas forever. That’s why we’ve moved away from the policy of maximising economic recovery and I don’t think we can continue to give the go ahead to new oil fields.

“So, I don’t think Cambo should get the green light.”

She said:

” I have set out a proposal for a climate assessment and I think the presumption would be that Cambo could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment”.

Her comment was welcomed this evening by Friends of the Earth Scotland. The organisation’s Mary Church said:

“We welcome the First Minister’s acknowledgement that there is no credible climate test that the Cambo oil field could ever pass. This is an important progression of the Scottish Government’s position, which must now translate into clear opposition to all new fossil fuel projects.

“When you’re in a hole, you have to stop digging. To meet the 1.5C goal, we need to keep all fossil fuels safe in the ground.

“It’s time to turn rhetoric on just transition into action that ensures that people and communities working in oil and gas are at the heart of planning a fair and fast phase out, whilst scaling up renewable energy to help create decent green jobs.”

The decision on whether to approve the new field rests with the UK’s Oil & Gas Authority. A environmental impact assessment will be carried out first.

The Cambo oil field is about 75 miles west of Shetland. and could produce hundreds of millions of barrels of oil.

If approved work could start next year and drilling could continue until the 2040s.

11 replies »

  1. OMG!

    Just a little research required there.

    (Who are the proposed operators?)

    Sorry, but a very obvious and contrived attempt at misinformation, and just fake news. Besides which, where a company has it’s HQ has no impact upon what it does, or does not do, in different parts of the globe.

  2. Shell holds a 30% non-operated stake in the project, while private-equity backed Siccar Point Energy is operator and holds the remaining 70%
    [Edited by moderator]

  3. Thanks for catching up, 1720. The data was simple to find, wasn’t it?

    Perhaps you could have done that first?

    Yep, so others have now been prevented from being misled.

  4. Some history and additional information on Cambo:

    “The Cambo oil field was discovered by Hess Corporation in 2002 and appraised by four appraisal wells as of 2012.

    Austrian oil and gas group OMV became the operator of Cambo by acquiring four licenses in West of Shetland, UK from Hess in March 2014.

    Siccar Point Energy completed the acquisition of OMV’s North Sea assets in the UK in January 2017 and drilled the fifth and the final appraisal well 204/10a-5 on the Cambo field in 2018.”

    Shell farmed in in 2018, they most likely paid the cost of the 2018 appraisal well in return for 30% of the field.


  5. Yes, thanks for that Paul.

    A lot of compensation to pay out there if the goal posts were moved.

    Perhaps Nicola would stump up?

    • Double hit – compensation and loss of tax take.

      Not sure Cambo would be commercial at much below current oil prices, looks to me as if OPEX will be high due to water depth & viscosity / wax (if present).

  6. I suspect that is true of many other UK off shore prospects, Paul. Low hung fruits are probably not there anymore.

    However, strategically, the ability to have assets producing that do not require a potential number of body bags to secure, is an important consideration, conveniently forgotten about by some even when they are being flown back to UK.

    Equally, I suspect high oil prices will be a feature going forward.

  7. Hmmm.

    Well, with USA auctioning off 80m acres of oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico currently, perhaps there are much bigger fish that need frying?!

    Except-inflation in USA will be Biden’s downfall and he needs to try and address that, so with OPEC playing hardball he has to try and get some home action on energy prices to compensate for the inflationary aspect of chucking $trillions into the economy. Can’t see it working, but it will become apparent at mid terms.

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