Extinction Rebellion activists protested outside Equinor’s, Aberdeen offices today to criticise the company’s Rosebank development following the firm’s Q3 results.
The ‘Stop Rosebank campaigners‘ stand in opposition the Norwegian energy firm’s project which is the largest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea.
Equinor has been experiencing criticism over the amount of tax it pays in the UK, however, a company spokeswoman told Energy Voice: “we are one of the largest taxpayers in the world.
“In the UK we are investing heavily, and we reported a loss last year – but we certainly believe that the investments that are underway and in the planning phase will create profits in the future.”
Another spokesperson explained that the company Q3 results show the firm lost money in the UK this quarter, saying: “Income before tax shows an overall loss in the UK of USD 1.4 billion, which is driven mostly by the recognition of an impairment of the Mariner field in 2021, offset by gains from the divestment of Dogger Bank offshore wind assets and dividends received from affiliates producing electricity from wind projects offshore UK. ”
Tessa Khan, director of Uplift commented on taxation policies targetted at the energy industry, saying: “Rishi Sunak urgently needs to replace the meagre windfall tax he imposed in May with one that is fit-for-purpose and put a stop, once and for all, to industry profiteering.
“This means closing the gaping loophole that would see the UK taxpayer effectively hand over half a billion pounds in the form of a massive subsidy to Equinor and its partners to develop the Rosebank oil field.
“This government has an opportunity to stand up to these mega-rich oil and gas companies by imposing a windfall tax and using the funds to support struggling households and reduce our reliance on gas by insulating homes and investing in greener, more affordable energy.”
Protests at Equinor’s Aberdeen office
Only three protestors stood outside the offices, holding signs that read “Stop Rosebank” and “Climate Emergency”.
Rosebank, located in the West of Shetland, has previously been estimated to target 300 million barrels of oil, making it one of the largest untapped reserves in UK waters.
The activist says that the Rosebank filed does not align with what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been reporting, calling for “better leadership” from Equinor in the energy transition.
Protestor, Jean told Energy Voice: “We all know there’s an energy crisis and a cost of living crisis right now and last quarter Equinor $17.7 billion, in this quarter £21 billion in profits.
“It is inconsistent with what people are dealing with, these companies making shocking profits, I think considering how powerful they are and how much money they have, they need to show greater leadership in this energy transition, show us the green jobs.
“We’re not against labour, we support labour but there’s a system here that needs to be changed.”
The issue of the energy firm’s high profits was also raised by Ms Khan when she said: “Equinor making obscene profits at a time when millions of households in the UK have been forced into fuel poverty is a symptom of the government siding with the oil and gas industry over ordinary people.
“The industry has made it crystal clear that the money is there for the taking yet the government has, so far, made pathetic attempts to claw some of it back to help families keep the heat on this winter.
The Extinction Rebellion protestor turned his attention to Aberdeen University and the city’s local government.
Jean said: “Aberdeen University take money from oil and gas to do research even though they talk about a transition.
“Also, Shell is moving its offices to Union Street, Aberdeen city council somehow needs to get these companies to coordinate with the city to start shifting over so there are new jobs to replace these dirty jobs.”