Shell’s decision to pull out of the Cambo oilfield project in the UK last December is being reconsidered by the oil giant now that the “economic, political and regulatory environment” had changed. With a surge in oil prices since Russia invaded Ukraine, Shell is said to still be invested in the controversial oilfield project.
The Cambo oilfield, which is located to the west of Shetland, was first licensed for exploration in 2001 and is said to have the capacity to produce hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, according to EcoWatch. While the “UK government has been more willing to speed investment in domestic fossil-fuel production” as a way to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and gas, environmentalists warn that the development of Cambo would threaten the UK’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and could threaten many ocean species.
“We know this is a response to the Ukraine war,” Mark van Baal, leader at Follow This, said. “The only good response to the Ukraine war is to replace Russian fossil fuels with renewables.”
Environmentalists believe that “developing Cambo would contradict the advice of the International Energy Agency, which said that no new fossil-fuel exploration could be allowed if the world is to meet the Paris agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” EcoWatch reported. All the while, Shell also promised to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Any new fields will be stranded if we are to meet the Paris climate targets,” van Baal said.
However, Shell continued to own an interest in Cambo, according to the BBC and The Guardian, as the company’s been reported to currently still have analysts assigned to the project. Therefore, climate activists’ said they will have to up their pressure on Shell once again.
“Cambo makes as little sense today as it did last year,” Tessa Khan, director at Uplift, said.