UK approves Shell’s giant Jackdaw gas field

UK regulators have approved Shell’s revised plan to develop the giant Jackdaw gas field 250 kilometres east of Aberdeen as the Westminster government seeks to boost domestic energy output following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, Shell welcomed the decision and said it plans to move ahead with the development of Jackdaw, which has the potential to produce 6.5% of the UK’s gas output, enough energy to heat 1.4 million homes.

Under the revised plan, Shell plans to start production from the field in the second half of 2025.

Shell’s new plan changes the way it processes 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.

Environmental group Greenpeace told Reuters it believes the permit approval “could be unlawful, and will consider taking legal action.”

A Shell spokesperson said: “Having initiated Jackdaw a number of years ago, we welcome the consent received today.

“We plan to move ahead with the project, which has the potential to produce 6.5% of UK gas production at a time when UK energy security is critically required.

“Responsibly produced, local gas production plays an essential role in the UK’s transition to net zero, will support thousands of jobs and forms part of Shell UK’s broader intent to invest £20 to £25 billion in the UK, with 75% intended for low and zero-carbon products and services.

“However, as we have repeatedly stated this can only happen with a stable fiscal policy and we continue to look to the government for those assurances.”

UK business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Twitter: “Jackdaw gas field – originally licensed in 1970 – has today received final regulatory approval.
“We’re turbocharging renewables and nuclear, but we are also realistic about our energy needs now.
“Let’s source more of the gas we need from British waters to protect energy security.”