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Energy / Campaigners critical as reports suggest Shell may return to Cambo project

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

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have criticised Shell as reports suggest the oil company was re-evaluating its decision to pull out of the Cambo field west of Shetland.

Shell said back in December that the economic case for the Cambo oil field, 75 miles west of Shetland, did not stack up.

But since then oil prices have shot up, with the situation in Russia and Ukraine in part driving up the value of fossil fuels.

The BBC reported this morning (Tuesday) that the oil company was reviewing the situation.

The idea of extracting oil from Cambo has proved divisive, with campaigners keen to see the move away from fossil fuels – but the industry says a phased transition is needed.

The Cambo oil field project, led 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.

Responding to today’s reports, campaign group Friends of the Earth said Shell is ”seeking to capitalise on rising oil prices, partly due to the war in Ukraine, to expand control over our energy system and further boost profits”.

Campaigner Caroline Rance said opening up fields like Cambo 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”.

Scottish Greens energy and climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “Opening the Cambo oil field makes even less sense today than it did last year.

“Any u-turn from Shell would be based purely on maximising its already eye-watering profits, it certainly wouldn’t help with soaring energy bills or our energy security.”

Siccar Point Energy chief executive Jonathan Roger previously said “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”.