This week, the UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) approved the first phase of development at Equinor and Ithaca Energy’s Rosebank offshore oil and gas project, as the UK looks to ensure its energy security in the coming years.

Equinor plans to begin subsea installations in 2024, before drilling the project’s wells in 2025 and produce first oil in the fourth quarter of 2026. At its peak, the project is expected to produce 69,000 barrels of oil per day, alongside 44 million cubic feet of oil per day, and represents a massive investment of £8.1 billion on the part of Equinor.

“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,” said UK energy security secretary Claire Coutinho, pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a motivating factor behind the permitting decision.


Prior to the invasion, after which many countries, including the UK, stopped importing Russian energy products, Russia was the UK’s largest supplier of refined oil. By November 2022, the UK imported 96.5% less oil than in the 12 months to February 2022, creating a significant gap in the UK energy mix that the government is seeking to fill with projects such as Rosebank.

“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,” added Coutinho.

Read more: Current+

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