Starmer could scrap £24bn oil field as Labour poses threat to UK energy security

Grant Shapps outlines the UK government’s energy goals

Sir Keir Starmer could abandon an oil drilling project in the North Sea worth up to £24billion if the Labour Party comes to power, industry sources have claimed.

Labour announced it would halt all new drilling licences if Sir Keir gets the keys to No 10.

Insiders have warned that the policy “represents a real danger to the energy security of the UK today”, with Energy Secretary Grant Shapps warning that the plans would assist Vladimir Putin in his mission to hold the world to ransom over energy supplies.

While the party has promised to keep any pre-approved projects in place, low investor confidence, rising interest rates and concerns about a changing policy landscape could kill off new plans for oil fields ahead of the next election.

The Rosefield oil field is yet to be officially approved, but Rishi Sunak has already suggested the project will go ahead.

This comes as part of an attempt to boost Britain’s energy security, by decreasing the amount of oil and gas needed to be imported.

Energy Secretary Grant Shapps is understood to be announcing his decision on the project in the coming weeks.

But speaking about the political threat, a source told the Telegraph: “If Labour comes in and says no more licensing, the north sea will move from being an oil and gas industry to a decommissioning industry.

“It’s because of political uncertainty. If you’re going to have your contracts changed or taxes changed due to some climate compatibility clause, it raises the cost of borrowing.”

A second source said Sir Keir Starmer’s “climate mission” will have an “immediate impact” on investor confidence.

They warned: “Signalling that there will be no more oil and gas licences does not just impact the long-term environment but short-term as well.

“Financing for existing production is going to fall away immediately.

“This rhetoric from Labour is damaging to investor confidence.

“It represents a real danger to the energy security of the UK today – never mind in 10 years’ time.”

Mr Shapps said Labour’s plans would assist Vladimir Putin in his mission to hold the world to ransom.

He said: “In the midst of high energy prices for families, Labour’s ideological vendetta against British energy independence not only risks hundreds of thousands of jobs but strengthens Putin’s campaign to use energy as a weapon against the West.”

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