• Eirini Sampson

Shell Scraps Plans to Fund Cambo North Sea Oilfield

📣The fourth most profitable oil company has now scraped its plans to Fund the notorious Cambo Oil Field: what is Cambo and the Stop Cambo campaign? Why is this decision important?


What is the Cambo Oil Field?

The Cambo Oilfield is located in the Shetland Islands and the field has been expected to produce oil and gas for approximately 25 years. The field is co-owned by Shell and Siccar Point Energy. The field has been thought to contain 800 million barrels of oil. While the UK claimed that the original licensiving licensing approval dated back to 2001, it was an exploration license which gave companies permission to seek where oil and gas could be before its discovery in a particular location. The process of developing an oil field is a very time-consuming one, with several procedures in place such as planning, environmental impact assessments and others to acquire approval from regulating bodies before production can begin (Oil and Gas Authority) - if Cambo was approved, it would start drilling in 2022. The Field’s estimated future production puts in jeopardy the carbon-neutral future envisioned by the Paris Agreement.




What is the #StopCambo campaign?

It is this that led to the Stop Cambo campaign their statement reads as follows:

“We’re united by a belief in climate justice, which requires a just transition and countries like the UK doing their fair share in combating the climate crisis, recognising the climate debt that rich countries owe the rest of the world following centuries of colonisation and climate emissions.”

The activist movement seeks to point out the government’s hypocrisy and the way that the potential of the new field stands in tandem with the commitments for decarbonisation by 2050 and the 1.5C threshold.

Shell’s Decision

It therefore comes as massive news that Shell announced that:

“After comprehensive screening of the proposed Cambo development, we have concluded the economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough at this time, as well as having the potential for delays.”

This has now set new grounds of uncertainty for the future of Cambo and the financial prospects of developing new oilfields in a transitional era. Given the longevity of the commitment that investment in oil and gas exploration and field developments, any plans to invest and develop such comes in direct tension with the transition to net-zero.