Activists will hold “emergency rallies” in London and Edinburgh in protest to the regulatory approval of the Shell Jackdaw field.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK must “source more of the gas we need from British waters to protect energy security”.
However the move has drawn the ire of climate protestors, including the Stop Jackdaw group and Greenpeace.
The former claimed it is the largest field to be approved – which is true, for the UK – since the IEA said the world must not bring on any new oil and gas in order to fight climate change.
Greenpeace claimed the move is “desperate and destructive” and pointed instead to the need to reduce energy waste in households.
Rallies are planned for this afternoon outside UK Government offices in Edinburgh and tomorrow in London outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
NOW is the time to act. Here's how👇
Step 1: Join our emergency rallies tomorrow
📢1pm, June 2, Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth House, J https://t.co/GrM6HlAnHV
📢6pm, June 2, London, Department Of Business, Energy and Industrial strategyhttps://t.co/70GvQRKuBw
— StopCambo #StopJackdaw (@StopCambo) June 1, 2022
Shell has pointed to Jackdaw gas being used to help justify electrification at the Shearwater hub in the North Sea, bringing down emissions, as well as its link to the Acorn CCS site at St Fergus.
The approval also comes as some six million UK households are reportedly facing blackouts this winter as Europe competes for supply.
The Times reported that limits could be placed on industrial use of gas, including on power stations, causing electricity shortages.
In a statement last night, Shell said: “Having initiated Jackdaw a number of years ago, we welcome the consent received today. We plan to move ahead with the project, which has the potential to produce 6.5% of UK gas production at a time when UK energy security is critically required.
“Responsibly produced, local gas production plays an essential role in the UK’s transition to net zero, will support thousands of jobs and forms part of Shell UK’s broader intent to invest £20 to £25 billion in the UK, with 75% intended for low and zero-carbon products and services.
“However, as we have repeatedly stated this can only happen with a stable fiscal policy and we continue to look to the government for those assurances.”