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Energy / More protests against Rosebank

Photo supplied by Uplift.

SOME Shetland campaigners have made their way to Norway to take part in a protest against the Rosebank oil development.

Norway based developer Equinor is holding its AGM in Stavanger.

Campaigners from the Stop Rosebank and Equinor Out groups have joined forces at the firm’s AGM to try to pressure the company into pulling the plug on Rosebank and stop its policy of oil and gas expansion.

Greenpeace Norway and WWF-Norway have also tabled a shareholder proposal that would require the company to ensure that at least 50 per cent of its board members have adequate experience on the energy transition and sustainability.

A coalition of major institutional investors have also proposed a resolution that would require Equinor to update its strategy and capital expenditure to align with the Paris Climate Agreement and explain how its new oil and gas fields are compatible.

The Rosebank oil development to the west of Shetland was given approval by regulators last year, amid protests from environmental campaigners.

Rosebank is the largest undeveloped oil field in the region and it has the potential to produce hundreds of million barrels of oil.

Anti-Rosebank campaigners, who are taking action in Norway, London, Aberdeen, Shetland and Cambridge, have also drawn attention to the Norwegian government’s involvement in Rosebank, which it majority owns through Equinor.

Andrea Sanchez, a campaigner with the local Stop Rosebank group who is among those taking part in the Norway protest, said: “We cannot go on building new oil and gas fields if we want to protect life on Earth, but Equinor and the Norwegian government remain intent on developing projects like Rosebank that will push us over the edge.

“Areas like Shetland are particularly vulnerable to the transition away from oil and gas, but we cannot continue like this. Opening new oil fields will not solve this problem. We need to leave as much oil as possible in the ground and focus on making a safe, fair transition towards green energy in Shetland and beyond.”

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A ‘Shetland fossil free’ message was also written on the sands at St Ninian’s as part of the campaign.

Sanjeev, 17, described as a Shetland activist, said places the like the isles “can transition to using more sustainable sources of energy to protect our environment, and our natural world”.

Equinor itself said it respects the “differing views” on Rosebank but said it believes there are “sound and rational reasons” for its development.

It previously said Rosebank would “bring much needed energy security and investment in the UK while supporting the UK’s net zero target”, creating an expected 2,000 UK jobs during its development phase.

It would be developed with a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) tied to a subsea production system.

Oil would be transported to refineries by shuttle tankers, while gas would be exported through the West of Shetland Pipeline system.

Equinor also said it has an ambition for Rosebank to be one of the first fields in the UK to power operations with renewable electricity, reducing emissions by over 70 per cent.

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