Britain to Give Shell Green Light for Development of North Sea Gas Project

Britain’s Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) is expected to approve Shell’s plan to develop a North Sea gas field in the coming days, which was previously declined on environmental grounds.

Shell updated its development plans for the Jackdaw field in March and sent it to the OPRED.

The fossil fuel giant’s new plan aims to start production by the second half of 2025. The field will supply 6.5% of Britain’s gas output.

OPRED had rejected the first plan back in October. The field has reserves between 120 million and 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The regulator is expected to give the green light to the new Jackdaw development plan after no objections were raised during the public consultation period.

Shell will still decide whether to go ahead with the final investment decision but the regulator’s approval is a major milestone.

The British Government said no decision have been taken yet and development proposals for oilfields under existing licenses are up to independent regulators.

Shell’s proposal comes at a time when Britain tries to deal with soaring energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The energy crunch has pushed the government to urge domestic producers to increase investment in oil and gas production.

Shell’s new plan changes the way it processes natural gas at the Shearwater hub, to which the Jackdaw field will be connected. Rather than removing all naturally occurring CO2 from the gas offshore, some of it will be exported to the onshore St Fergus terminal where it will be further treated.

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