Cambo oil and gas field licence extended as UK backs domestic supply

The UK’s North Sea oil and gas license for controversial Cambo has been extended by two more years.

Campaigners opposed the field co-owned jointly by Shell and Siccar Point Energy. The government regulator was still considering whether to issue a final permit last year.

Shell pulled out of the project in December 2021 before any decision was made. They cited the possibility of delays and weak economic reasons for investment.

The scramble to extract Russian fossil fuels from the Ukraine war has altered the landscape of the oil and gas industry. The UK government has indicated that it will support domestic extraction as part of its new energy security strategy.

A Shell spokesperson stated that the North Sea Transition Authority granted Siccar Point Energy (Shell UK) an extension to the underlying licenses containing Cambo fields, which were due for expiration tomorrow (31 March 2022).

“At the moment there is no change in our position as of December 2021. However, the extension to the licenses will give us time to assess all future options for this project.”

Tessa Khan, director at Uplift, stated that it was “blindingly evident that there is not a public case for Cambo,” since it would not lower fuel costs or ensure supply.

According to an analysis by think tank ECIU of government data, only 5-6% of the UK’s gas imports come from Russia.

Although prices are affected by international markets, a large portion of Britain’s natural gas comes from Norway and the North Sea.

Any domestically extracted gas would be owned by the company that produced it and sold on international markets at the highest price.

Ms Khan added that further extraction “would make it harder to remain within safe climate limits.”

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