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Britain gives green light to Rosebank oil & gas field; likely to face environmental criticism

September 27, 2023 4:26 PM IST

Britain | fossil fuel | equinor | renewable resources | Rosebank oil & gas field

Britain has given go-ahead for Equinor EQNR.OL to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea. The move is most likely to provoke fresh criticism from environmental campaigners and activists. recently, protests were held in New York to demand the ‘end of fossil fuels’ for the sake of the environment.

Equinor, which holds a majority stake in Rosebank, is one of the largest undeveloped oil and gas fields on the British continental shelf. It will invest $3.8 billion alongside its partner to develop the field.

The announcement is likely to reignite the debate around Britain’s climate change strategy after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak watered down the country’s interim plans to hit the 2050 net zero target last week.

Environmental campaigners had urged the Conservative government to halt the Rosebank development, arguing it contravened the plan for a net-zero economy. However, the British PM has said that Britain needed new domestic fossil fuels to improve energy security.

The field is expected to produce 300 million barrels of oil in its lifetime. “We have today approved the Rosebank Field Development Plan which allows the owners to proceed with their project,” the North Sea Transition Authority said.

Oslo-listed energy company Equinor will be operator of the field, north-west of Shetland, alongside Britain’s Ithaca Energy ITH.L.

Ithaca said Rosebank would underpin 8.1 billion pounds ($9.84 billion) of direct investment in Britain, supporting up to 1,600 jobs during construction. First production is expected in 2026-27.

Burning fossil fuel is major cause of global warming and related environmental impact.

(Input from Reuters)

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