Shell Pulls Out of Cambo, a U.Okay. Oil Discipline Focused by Local weather Activists

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Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that it had decided not to invest in UK oil production off the coast of Scotland, which has become an environmental test by the government.

The field, known as Cambo, is in deep water northwest of the Shetland Islands. It is considered to be a forerunner for the future of the UK’s declining, but still large, North Sea oil industry.

The UK government is considering approving the project, which environmental groups and some politicians say should be rejected because it would cause carbon dioxide emissions, which are responsible for climate change.

Shell, which owns 30 percent of Cambo, said it “concluded that the economic case to invest in this project is not strong enough at this time”.

The company also said there was “potential for delay,” apparently referring to the possibility that the drilling would spark protests from environmental groups and possibly legal action to stop it. Shell recently announced plans to move its headquarters from the Netherlands to the UK.

Shell’s decision to turn down investments in the development of Cambo is a severe blow to the project. Siccar Point Energy, a private equity-backed company that is Cambo’s main owner and developer, said it was “disappointed” with Shell’s decision but was “confident” of the qualities of the project and said it would create 1,000 jobs.

Siccar Point has announced that it will invest $ 2.6 billion in Cambo and has spent $ 190 million in the four years since acquiring the rights to the field discovered in 2002.

The oil industry argues that as long as the UK is consuming more oil and natural gas than it is producing, it is preferable that these fuels come from the North Sea, where emissions regulations can be set, rather than from places with potentially fewer controls.

Environmental group Greenpeace UK said letting Cambo continue “would be a disaster for our climate and leave UK consumers vulnerable to volatile fossil fuel markets”.