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Energy / Cambo placed on hold

The Cambo field lies 125 kilometres north west of Shetland. Image: Siccar Point

THE CONTROVERSIAL Cambo oil development to the west of Shetland has been put on hold.

The move comes after Shell, which had a 30 per cent stake in the project, announced last week it had pulled out because the economic case was “not strong enough” at this point in time.

Developer Siccar Point Energy said on Friday that because of Shell’s decision, the project could not continue on its original timescale.

Chief executive Jonathan Roger said: “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.

“We continue 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.”

Extraction of oil from the field has been a hot topic recently – with campaigners saying it should not go ahead in the transition to net zero.

The Cambo oil field, located 125 kilometres to the north west of Shetland and driven forward by Siccar Point Energy, had an exploration licence granted in 2001.

Its developer said the project would deliver 170 million barrels of oil equivalent during its 25-year operational life, and provide a further 53.5 billion cubic feet of gas – enough to power 1.5 million homes for a year.

While campaigners want it knocked on its head, Shetland Islands Council leader Steven Coutts told Shetland News this week that oil and gas is still needed for a managed transition to net zero.

There has also been a warning about the impact on employment prospects if Cambo does not go ahead.