The CEO of the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has been shouted off stage by protestors – during a speech about the energy trilemma.
Fossil Free London disrupted the top boss of the North Sea regulator during his presentation at the World Energy Capital Assembly (WeCa) in London, a major event for the oil and gas industry.
Andy Samuel was delivering a segment on the energy trilemma – outlining the need for affordable, secure and clean supply of fuel and power for the world– when the protestors rose.
The group protested the NSTA offering new oil and gas fields through its latest licensing round.
They also opposed development of the Rosebank oilfield in the West of Shetland.
The NSTA had no comment on the protests when asked. The Energy Council, which organises WeCA, was approached for comment, as was Rosebank operator Equinor.
Mr Samuel can be heard in the video offering to speak to the pair during a break or to listen to the presentation.
The protestors were eventually escorted out by security after loud music was used to drown out their shouts at the NSTA.
Clean, affordable, secure supply
Fossil Free London opposed the new fields under climate grounds; the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a report last year saying new exploration needed to stop under its net zero pathway for 2050.
Part of the NSTA’s job is to ensure oil and gas firms meet climate targets set by the UK Government, and has justified new licensing through its “climate checkpoint” system.
However, reflecting the energy trilemma, the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent pressure on gas prices have hammered home the need for domestic supply, with industry arguing that shutting down production here would only leave the country in demand of greater imports of fuel.
Later, the main protestor in the video said: “They’re talking about how to make more money from more drilling. They’re ignoring the climate science which is really clear; we need to stop oil and gas.
“We had temperatures of 40 degrees this summer, it can’t go on like this. The industry needs to listen and the government needs to listen.”
New research has shown that the domestic industry in the UK, which is less reliant on Russian supply, has insulated prices to an extent.
But not all of the oil the industry produces domestically is used here – though the market for refined products is huge in the UK.
Fossil Free London said the field would help “unleash a collapsed climate”, claiming the field has emissions equivalent of 58 coal-fired power stations.
Robin Wells, director of Fossil Free London, said: “’The reason for this disruption is very simple. We want to live.
“The North Sea Transition Authority is ‘transition’ in name only unless it progresses beyond fossil fuels; that means stopping new oil and gas, to stop the devastation.”
It’s the second time in as many weeks that the NSTA has been targeted by protestors after action from Extinction Rebellion in Aberdeen.
Recommended for you