ROSEBANK owner Equinor have once again posted billions in profits – to the fury of climate campaigners.

The Norwegian fossil giant – which has the controlling stake in the huge oil field development in the North Sea – posted profits of £6.6 billion for the past three months.

During the last quarter, the state-owned oil firm posted pre-tax profits of £5.8 billion.

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Environmental campaigners said the firm was adding “insult to injury” with its huge profits as parts of Scotland continue to suffer from extreme weather caused by climate breakdown.

Last week, Storm Babet caused flooding that hit towns across north-east Scotland, with some evacuated residents in Angus told they would not be back in their homes by Christmas.

In September, the UK Government gave the green light for the Rosebank development to go ahead, despite fury from campaigners and across the political spectrum.

The field, which lies north-west of Shetland, contains up to 350 million barrels of oil and is expected to be in operation for decades.

The National:

The oil from this field could produce the equivalent pollution of the combined annual emissions of 28 low-income countries.

The United Nations, other agencies and scientists have all called on governments to stop further exploration of oil and gas amid the climate crisis.

Equinor is due to receive a tax break of £2.8bn to develop Rosebank, meaning that 91% of the costs of development will be covered by the UK public.

Campaigners calculated that the same amount of money could cover retrofitting every home in the north east of Scotland with insulation and clean heating systems.

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Alex Lee, Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner, said: “Companies like Equinor are directly responsible for driving climate breakdown through their relentless extraction of oil and gas. The fact that Equinor is still making these enormous profits is adding insult to injury for those people across Scotland who are dealing with the devastation that recent extreme weather has caused.

“The deliberate loophole in the UK Government’s windfall tax means that Equinor will be able to claim back the vast majority of the costs of developing the Rosebank field.

“This was a political choice to put money in the pockets of Norwegian oil bosses rather than supporting people in the UK by insulating their homes or improving public transport services.

“Equinor is a greedy fossil fuel company as demonstrated by its plans to open the huge Rosebank oil field and its involvement in the plans to increase pollution at the Peterhead gas-fired power station.

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“Instead of encouraging big polluters, both governments should be investing in a fast and fair transition to renewable energy, with workers and communities’ needs at its heart.”

Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor ASA, said: “Equinor delivered strong cash flow and earnings in a quarter with considerably lower gas prices than last year. Through strong operational performance, we delivered high oil production from Johan Sverdrup [oil field] and our international portfolio.

“The gas production from the Norwegian continental shelf was impacted by planned maintenance and extended turnarounds.

“We continue with significant capital distribution and will deliver a total distribution of $17bn in 2023.”