Quakers call on prime minister to rule out opening UK’s largest oil and gas field

Quakers in Britain have joined 200 others in writing to Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman urging the government to reject Equinor's plans to open the Rosebank oil field.

Old oilrigs against sunset
Quakers in Britain have joined 200 others in urging the government to reject Equinor's plans to open oil field, photo credit: Ben Wicks for Unsplash

The Norwegian firm wants to develop the largest undeveloped oil and gas field in the British North Sea.

But the case for moving past oil and gas extraction has never been clearer, signatories say, with British homes and businesses left vulnerable to soaring gas prices by the war in Ukraine.

Granting new licences and approving new fields like Rosebank will not support energy security, they say, but make the UK more dependent on expensive, high carbon gas for decades longer than necessary.


Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life.

- Quaker faith and practice, advices and queries, 42


Located northwest of Shetland, Rosebank is 90 per cent oil which is likely to be exported and not lower energy costs in the UK.

Equinor is majority-owned by the Norwegian government, but the UK public would carry almost all the costs of development, thanks to a £500 million subsidy from the UK government.

The government should be concentrating on greater energy efficiency and cheap home-grown renewables instead, wrote signatories including the Wildlife Trusts, Tearfund, Oxfam and the Norwegian Green Party.

Quakers are led by faith to work for a fair and sustainable world, conserving the earth's resources.

Oliver Robertson, head of witness and worship at Quakers in Britain, said: “The world is facing a climate emergency and we believe our government should not be pouring fuel on the flames.

“Instead they should be shifting away from fossil fuels to clean energy."

Read the full letter here