According to a recent report published by Reuters, Equinor is planning to sell a 20% share in Rosebank, which constitutes a quarter of its existing stake in the UK’s largest untapped oilfield. The 20% share is expected to fetch $1.5 billion.
Currently, the Norwegian energy firm owns 80% of the West of Shetland development after acquiring stakes from Chevron and Suncor. The Rosebank and nearby Cambo oilfields have been the subject of controversy and marked as key climate battlegrounds for protestors.
Shell sold its 30% portion of Cambo to operator Ithaca Energy this year after a search had been made for another buyer. In September, the Rosebank oilfield received a much-anticipated green light from the UK regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA). Equinor and Ithaca plan to invest $3.8bn on the project, targeting 300 million barrels of oil in the West of Shetland over two phases. The companies expect Rosebank to lead to £8.1bn of total direct investment, 78% of which is likely to be in UK-based businesses.
The project will also support around 1,600 jobs at the height of construction and 450 UK jobs during the lifetime of the field. According to the operator, Rosebank could be producing through to the year 2051. However, due to a process of electrification, its emissions will count for 1.6% of the overall UK offshore sector.
In 2018, Equinor acquired US major Chevron’s 40% working interest in the Rosebank project and at the beginning of the year, it took on a further 40% share from Suncor as part of a $850 million deal.