Approval of the Shell Jackdaw gas field in the North Sea is now “imminent”, according to a newspaper report.
A piece in the Sunday Times reports the approval is on its way following Russia’s decision to cut off gas supplies to several European countries.
No sources are attributed and neither Shell nor the UK Government have commented on the piece.
Shell recently re-submitted plans for the gas field in the central North Sea after the project was prohibited by regulator OPRED in October on environmental grounds.
The new plan, which would see £500m spent in the UK, seeks to deliver first production in Q3-Q4 2025, accounting for 6.5% of UK gas at its peak.
It’s understood that OPRED’s decision was linked to Shell’s plans to vent excess gas at Shearwater in order to reduce the corrosive CO2 content in the pipes, rather than bring it directly to shore via the slightly closer Judy platform.
Shell is now making adjustments to bring a higher percentage of gas to shore via Shearwater in order to meet the regulator’s requirements.
The new plan also underlines the value to be unlocked by tying Jackdaw back to Shearwater, both through its electrification plans for the platform as well as its link to the Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) site.
Last week, Germany said Russia is using energy as a “weapon” after Moscow reduced natural gas supplies in retaliation for Europe’s penalties over the war in Ukraine.
German economy minister Robert Habeck described the move as largely symbolic, only accounting for about 3% of Germany’s Russian gas imports, but shows that the Kremlin won’t shy away from squeezing its largest customer.
Gas prices in Europe surged more than 20% off the back of the news.
The British Energy Security Strategy, published last month, put extra emphasis on ramping up domestic North Sea production in order to ensure security of supply in the UK.
Last month a series of protests were carried out in opposition to new oil and gas fields in Britain, including action at Shell’s offices in London and the UK Government’s premises in Edinburgh.