Shell Plc has received official approval to develop the Jackdaw natural gas field in the UK’s North Sea, eight months after the project was stopped by the country’s regulator due to environmental concerns.
Last year, the UK oil and gas industry faced a dismal future as the government focused on hosting the COP 26 climate conference. However, as a result of the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on energy costs, Britain is now looking for measures to keep domestic oil and gas supplies flowing.
Shell stated in a new environmental statement issued in March that it will minimize venting and adapt a treatment process at Jackdaw to cut project emissions.
According to a letter dated May 27, the UK’s Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning approved the project, stating that it “would not have any substantial environmental effects.”
Shell expressed its delight at the announcement, stating that it intends to “go forward with the project, which has the potential to supply 6.5 percent of UK gas production at a time when UK energy security is crucial.”
New oil and gas projects in the UK North Sea have decreased in recent years as investors and environmental activists forced the industry to cut spending and address climate change.
Environmentalists have expressed their displeasure with the Jackdaw field. Protesters holding “Stop Jackdaw” signs were seen outside Shell’s annual general meeting last week.
“Johnson’s government’s decision to approve Jackdaw is a desperate and dangerous choice that demonstrates there is no long-term plan,” Greenpeace campaigner Ami McCarthy said.
While the government announced a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas corporations last week, the proposal also contains an 80% new-investment allowance, which indicates that energy companies can pay less if they commit to new capital expenditure on energy projects.
Local gas, according to a Shell spokeswoman, will be a vital component of the UK’s transition to net zero and is part of the company’s intentions to invest up to £25 billion in the country. “However, as we’ve said before, this can only happen with a solid fiscal policy, and we continue to look to the government for assurances.”