The Rosebank oil field has today received the regulatory nod for development and production.
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “We are investing on our world-leading renewable energy but, as the independent Climate Change Committee recognise, we will need oil and gas as part of that mix on the path to net zero and so it makes sense to use our own supplies from North Sea fields such as Rosebank.
“The jobs and billions of pounds this is worth to our economy will enable us to have greater energy independence, making us more secure against tyrants like Putin.
“We will continue to back the UK’s oil and gas industry to underpin our energy security, grow our economy and help us deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner energy.”
This development, which comes as Rosebank claims the title of the largest untapped oilfield in UK waters, has drawn criticism from the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA).
Frank Gordon, Director of Policy at the REA, said: “We are disheartened to note the news today regarding the approval of new oil licences at Rosebank. The UK must wean itself off oil and gas to break our reliance on expensive, insecure and polluting energy which is subject to volatile international fossil fuel markets.
Earlier today, activists representing Fossil Free London, Stop Rosebank, and other groups staged a protest in Westminster.
This came in response to the government’s morning approval of the Rosebank oil field.
A large crowd gathered outside the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero on Whitehall Place.
Joanna Warrington, a spokesperson for Fossil Free London, said: “This disastrous new oil and gas will get sold internationally to the highest bidder, doing nothing to provide energy security. What we need is bold action – renewables and rapid home improvements to insulate this country.