THE UK Government has caved to pressure from the oil and gas industry and removed a block on the development of a gas field in “British” waters.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced that the Jackdaw gas field had been given “final regulatory approval”, reversing a decision made ahead of COP26.

The top Tory added: “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.”

The Jackdaw field is around 250km east of Aberdeen. It is part of the Shearwater hub, meaning that much of the infrastructure is already in place. But last year, the UK Government declined permission to develop it.

In early May, Shell, which is developing the field through its affiliate BG International, publicly pressured the UK Government to reverse this decision.

The U-turn on approval is unlikely to help gas supply in the UK – which is already experiencing a surplus and low wholesale prices. At one point in late May, the “spot price” of gas in the UK was at the lowest level for 18 months and cheaper than before energy prices started spiralling, according to

Greenpeace said that the approval “could be unlawful” and said it will consider taking legal action.

Ami McCarthy, political campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “Approving Jackdaw is a desperate and destructive decision from Boris Johnson’s government, and proves there’s no long-term plan.

“They could immediately shave billions off bills, get a grip on UK energy demand, create thousands of jobs, boost our economy, tackle the climate crisis and avoid future crises – if they just upgrade homes to be warmer and greener, and invest in clean and cheap renewable power.

“But instead, once again, they’re handing out lucrative permits to the likes of Shell for a project that won’t start producing gas for years, that won’t lower our bills, but will create massive emissions causing deadly flooding and wildfires, and mass migration from people fleeing the climate crisis.

“This government’s shown no regard for these emissions, or Jackdaw’s ultimate climate impact. We think that’s unlawful, we’re looking at legal action to stop Jackdaw, and fight this every step of the way.”