Rosebank oil field in Scotland granted consent by NSTA despite pushback from environmental activists

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The North Sea Transition Authority has granted development and production consent to the controversial new oil field in Scotland

The Rosebank oil field has been given development and production consent by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), it was announced today (27 September).

The oil field, located north-west of Shetland, is one of the UK's biggest untapped discoveries in UK waters, containing up to 350 million barrels of oil. The NSTA had provided owners Equinor and Ithaca Energy consent after the Environmental Statement was accepted.

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An NSTA spokesperson said: “We have today approved the Rosebank Field Development Plan which allows the owners to proceed with their project. The FDP is awarded in accordance with our published guidance and taking net zero considerations into account throughout the project’s lifecycle.”

Rosebank has become a hot issue for environmental campaigners, who have urged the UK government to wean off of the reliance on fossil fuels. Prominent figures in the movement, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, have spoken out against the proposed oil field it Rosebank.

Greenpeace UK climate campaigner Philip Evans said: “Rishi Sunak has proven once and for all that he puts the profits of oil companies above everyday people. We know that relying on fossil fuels is terrible for our energy security, the cost of living, and the climate. Our sky-high bills and recent extreme weather have shown us that.

“The ugly truth is that Sunak is pandering to vested interests, demonstrating the stranglehold the fossil fuel lobby has on Government decision making. And it’s bill payers and the climate that will suffer because of it. Why else would he make such a reckless decision?”

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Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “We are investing in our world-leading renewable energy but, as the independent Climate Change Committee recognise, we will need oil and gas as part of that mix on the path to net zero and so it makes sense to use our own supplies from North Sea fields such as Rosebank.

“The jobs and billions of pounds this is worth to our economy will enable us to have greater energy independence, making us more secure against tyrants like (Vladimir) Putin.

“We will continue to back the UK’s oil and gas industry to underpin our energy security, grow our economy and help us deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner energy.”

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