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Shell’s Jackdaw Gas Field Refused Permission

October 8, 2021

By Paul Homewood

This really is insanity with skates on!

According to media reports, the UK government’s Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) had refused permission for Royal Dutch Shell to further develop the Jackdaw gas field in the North Sea.

Government has yet to issue a statement and it is not clear why OPRED rejected Royal Dutch Shell’s proposal on the Jackdaw field, which could have supplied up to 10% of annual consumption of natural gas in the UK. This would be equal to about 15% of consumption by UK households.

It is suspected that the UK government was reluctant to be seen consenting fossil fuels in the run-up to COP 26, the UN climate conference to be held in Glasgow this November, and which the UK is chairing.

The refusal of the Shell Jackdaw proposal is all the more confusing since natural gas is an essential component in the government’s Net Zero proposals. Natural gas guarantees security of supply on the electricity grid during periods of low wind and solar power output. It is also the source of the about 80% of the hydrogen that government requires to decarbonise otherwise impossible sectors such as marine transport, Heavy Goods Vehicles, agricultural traction, and crucial elements of domestic heating in the drive for Net Zero (See GWPF’s paper on Hydrogen: The Once and Future Fuel for details of the government plans).

Since natural gas is so important to the government’s very own policy goals it is essential that UK national resources should be developed to prevent the over-dependence on international markets that is driving the current gas crisis. This entails facilitating further development in the North Sea, amongst other sources.

Dr John Constable, GWPF’s energy editor said:

Refusing permission for national gas production in the middle of gas import crisis is a bizarre decision, and seems to be driven by the short-term optics of COP26 rather than the public interest and a rational approach to low-cost decarbonisation. Energy policy is too important to be distorted by virtue signalling. Natural gas is essential from many perspectives, and domestic natural gas production should be strongly encouraged.”

Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF’s director, said:

In face of a worsening energy crisis, Boris Johnson should encourage, as a matter of urgency, the exploration and further development of Britain’s vast natural gas resources, including shale gas, which would bring down energy costs and enhance energy security significantly.”

29 Comments
  1. October 8, 2021 5:26 pm

    Headline should have been “UK govt continues to dig its own grave”.

    • Phil O'Sophical permalink
      October 8, 2021 6:04 pm

      It’s own, and ours unfortunately.

  2. Barrie Emmett permalink
    October 8, 2021 5:26 pm

    Sadly we shouldn’t be surprised at another act of folly by this government.

  3. Nicholas Lewis permalink
    October 8, 2021 5:35 pm

    Wouldn’t worry too much this lot have got form for changing their minds and they love to manage the media narrative so give it a few months and it will quietly get approved.

  4. will davis permalink
    October 8, 2021 5:42 pm

    The stupidity of politicians is boundless. We will need gas for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to go regarding our political parties. They approve of DRAX but not of using our own gas,- madness! I can see a star theatrical performance from Borris coming up in Glasgow. All ‘wind ‘ and copious amount of gas!

    • Barrie Emmett permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:18 pm

      Absolutely spot on. Very well said.

    • Jordan permalink
      October 9, 2021 9:57 am

      When you suggested a performance by Boris in Glasgow, I thought you were going to say “Graun With The Wind”

  5. October 8, 2021 5:43 pm

    They should have postponed the decision till post-COP26.
    Madness!
    They are digging the graves of many more than their BS selves.

  6. Penda100 permalink
    October 8, 2021 6:02 pm

    And this in the same week that National Grid was warning of increased risks of blackouts this winter. Wasn’t the answer to better Government supposed to be joined up thinking? Every day a new insanity.

  7. richardw permalink
    October 8, 2021 6:30 pm

    Shocking decision. I did write to my MP earlier when the GWPF published this enquiring whether the government was acting in the interests of the people of this country, or of Extinction Rebellion.

  8. El Toro permalink
    October 8, 2021 6:33 pm

    Just bu**er off until after COP26 and try again then…

    • El Toro permalink
      October 8, 2021 6:35 pm

      And you can have your Cumbrian coal mine too but not until after COP…

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 8, 2021 7:07 pm

    When government takes these kinds of decisions it forces you to recognise that so many of its decisions in all areas are equally incompetent. But this one must take the biscuit for sheer stupidity.

    • El Toro permalink
      October 8, 2021 7:28 pm

      Classic Common Purpose behaviour?

    • will davis permalink
      October 8, 2021 7:32 pm

      cream crackers

  10. Freek Wisse permalink
    October 8, 2021 8:43 pm

    However more stupid than the Dutchmen you cannot be . Here is the Slochteren/Groningen gasfield in Holland with still billions of reserves in the ground and the prime driver of the wealth of Holland in the last 40 years resulting in nearly a trillion in revenues for the dutch state in he same period . Why ? Because after so much distraction of natural gas the soil started to resettle with a couple inches downward in a non-harmonic way causing earthshakes of around 3 on the richter scale , which should do no harm in any developed society , but causing a lot of damage in cheap rural construction comparable to low grade 3rd world countries like bangladesh or myanmar . When you look around in California , Mexico , Chili , Japan you can find housing in all of these countries able to withstand a earthquake of 7 on the richter scale without any structural damege to the buildings itself . If the dutch government had only spent a few billion of the many , many billions yearly produced by the natural gas bonanza there would not exist any problem . And with the present natural gas prices there is probably for another trillion left in the ground , which is probably forbidden to exploit by the biggest dutch idiot and fool Frans Timmermans , who considers himself the apostle of the Green Deal , whilst in reality he is power-hungry communist in democratic sheep-clothing . May he burn in hell , there is no doubt over here in any shortage in natural gas and we are not even talking about fracking , which would exponentially increase our natural reserves to an arabic level . Is it stupidity , lazyness or a result of the WEF managers culture deciding over matters without any true knowledge ?

    • Mikehig permalink
      October 9, 2021 4:05 pm

      The radio news has just announced that the Netherlands has lost power completely due to running out of fuel.
      If that’s correct, maybe they will re-open Groningen?

      • Mikehig permalink
        October 9, 2021 5:18 pm

        Apologies: it’s Lebanon that has a total power outage, not the Netherlands. Either the radio announcer misread or my hearing had a senior moment!

  11. Vincent Booth permalink
    October 8, 2021 9:10 pm

    Get cracking, start fracking.

  12. John Smith permalink
    October 8, 2021 9:34 pm

    So, it is OK to burn Putin’s gas but not our own?

  13. chriskshaw permalink
    October 8, 2021 10:41 pm

    It is a mystery that we cannot take collective advantage of the fruits the lord has given us in the ground but we can buy the stuff from Russia and Saudi and enrich them instead. Jolly sporting I reckon. And the idiots preventing this are themselves collectivists. Bonkers methinks

  14. Mikehig permalink
    October 8, 2021 10:46 pm

    This looks suspiciously like kicking the can down the road just far enough to clear next month’s COP 26. The project’s environmental report has been rejected for – so far – unspecified reasons. Shell is “assessing the implications”.
    That could mean that some clarifications and/or modifications will see it approved in a few months.

    • Colin MacDonald permalink
      October 9, 2021 9:50 pm

      Here’s hoping. Of course the recent gas shortages might have an effect on government thinking, wouldn’t look too good if come December and the lights go out and the Government has to justify cancelling a major North Sea gas fieldm

  15. October 9, 2021 6:46 am

    You can’t fix stupid.

  16. Jordan permalink
    October 9, 2021 10:04 am

    Both Shell and BP have been doing their fair share of virtue signalling in recent years. In business, actions have consequences. If there is some good to come from the topic of this thread, it would be a push back to rationality and more critical thinking by people who are expected to be responsible custodians of investors’ money.
    It would be good to see a root-and-branch change throughout the energy supply industry and energy intensive users in western Europe. Some of the energy supply issues presently being experienced the far east might also be a lesson that they have nowhere to run to.

  17. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 9, 2021 10:42 am

    The government missed a propaganda trick here. They should have said they have effectively approved a Hydrogen field as this will be the result of recovering the natural gas. (maybe).

  18. Colin MacDonald permalink
    October 9, 2021 11:22 am

    Of course Shell will now redirect it’s billions to it’s gas developments elsewhere in the World, so the carbon emissions will be unchanged, but the UK will be further impoverished, particularly my own town, Aberdeen, which is fast becoming a European version of Detroit. Not to mention the carbon emissions from the appraisal wells already drilled for Jackdaw, a bit like burning those North America forests in situ rather in Drax. So we’ll burn gas anyway, but with extra emmissions from the energy wasted through appraisal drilling of Jackdaw. I really despair.

  19. Steve permalink
    October 9, 2021 11:28 am

    Just in case we can still buy gas, I’ve just bought my first generator and a lead to the boiler.

  20. Matthew Gregory permalink
    October 10, 2021 11:24 am

    Everything going on is a manufactured crises. The Great Reset is real. Problem, Reaction, Solution. Order out of chaos.

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