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  • Writer's pictureAleks Rytwinski

Rosebank oil & gas – Is Rishi Right or Wrong?


An oil and gas field off the coast of Shetland has just been approved for drilling by the UK government. Owned by Equinor and Ithaca Energy, Rosebank is said to contain 300 million barrels of oil and could account for 8% of the UK's overall oil production.

A boost in energy security - Is Rishi right?

Rishi Sunak, via the UK government's report, has claimed that Rosebank will help produce many jobs in the North of Scotland, while also providing energy security in the UK. The Telegraph (2023) summarises the benefits, explaining that at the height of production, 1600 jobs will be generated. Rishi also claims that Rosebank will reduce emissions associated with importing oil from Russia, and ‘maxing out’ oil and gas reserves in the North Sea could help lower bills for households in the UK. All these factors cast Rosebank in a favourable light for the UK, but this is not the complete picture.

Via The New Statesman

'War Against Life on Earth' - Is Rishi wrong?

Equinor has confirmed that the oil and gas produced at Rosebank won't even necessarily be sold in the UK, rather it will be sold in global markets at global oil prices. This makes it unlikely that energy prices will not be cut for UK consumers.

The UK's Climate Change Committee's report explained to Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor at the time, that Rosebank would "at most, have a marginal effect on prices." Furthermore, the report explained that reducing the UK's vulnerability to fluctuating prices in the future would be more efficiently achieved by decreasing fossil fuel consumption as part of the journey towards achieving Net Zero.

Considering the UK's net zero goal by 2050, Chris Peckham has described Rosebank as an "act of war against life on Earth." Sunak's decision to open Rosebank could be challenged in court if the UK government is seen to violate its legally binding Net Zero goals. Hamza Yousaf wrote on X that allowing Rosebank to be built is "climate [change] denial." After all, if we are aiming for net zero by 2050, we need to start reducing fossil fuel dependence now.

Opposition from Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil explains that Rosebank, as well as other environmentally detrimental projects, must be eradicated should we want to transition to a world without fossil fuels.

The climate action group plan to do this by carrying out peaceful protests, such as the one in London from October 29th, 2023, for three weeks. Just Stop Oil hopes to make the government concede to their demands in asking for no new fossil fuel licensing.

It is clear that the continuous output of fossil fuels through the development of Rosebank has a range of effects, both positive and negative. If you would like to learn more and make up your mind on the issue, there are a range of news sources attached below that discuss the implementation of Rosebank.

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25 ott 2023
Valutazione 5 stelle su 5.

Super informative!! What will Rishi do next…

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