Scarborough crab boat owner backs Jacob Rees-Mogg's call for gas to be extracted from North Sea

A Scarborough crab boat owner says gas in two fields off the North Yorkshire coast needs to be extracted to prevent the country being “dependent on everyone else”.

It comes after the Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg declared that he supported “exploiting every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea”.

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has postponed a 3D seismic survey on the two gasfields, Resolution and Endeavour, for the past two years.

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However Egdon Resources, which owns 30 per cent of the licence, stated last year that the survey could now go ahead in February 2023, subject to regulatory and Shell approval. Shell, which is the licence operator, declined to comment yesterday.

Aerial shot of Scarborough harbour

The Resolution gas discovery was an early North Sea discovery made by Total in 1966 and Mr Roberts, of The Well Dressed Crab Company, said he could remember seeing its rig off the coast in the 1980s.

Last year he was among fishermen from Whitby, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington given thousands of pounds compensation for lifting their pots to avoid them getting caught up in the 2km-long cables dragged by a survey ship. But at the last minute the survey didn’t take place.

Mr Roberts said: “It’s not only about fishing, the population is an interested party too.

“I’m part of UK PLC and I want to know where gas is coming from.

“We have got to get it out and not be dependent on everybody else. I know the Greens won’t be happy, but it’s reality.

“There will be people opposed to it but they will be the same people who expect to go home and turn on the gas boilers and expect to put a pan of stew on the stove.”

Campaigners have previously campaigned against drilling off Scarborough, saying the sight of gas rigs just off shore will spoil “world-famous views” and that wildlife will be harmed in the process of exploring and exploiting the gasfields.

Newspaper reports claim Boris Johnson will on Thursday give regulators the go ahead to “field development plans for up to six North Sea oil and gas projects”.

However Philip Evans, oil and gas campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said oil and gas extracted in the UK, mostly gets sold off on international markets to the highest bidder, doing nothing for household bills in the UK.

Mr Evans said: “Right now oil and gas companies are raking in profits from war-time price spikes, yet the government refuses to bring in a windfall tax that could help ease the cost-of-living crisis for the most vulnerable.

“We need the government to upgrade our homes to cut energy waste, and back a strong British renewables industry so we can get off Russian gas.

“This would cut energy bills and tackle the climate crisis. North Sea fossil fuels are out of date and out of time.”

Last week the licence for the controversial Cambo oil and gas field off the Shetlands, which is co-owned by Shell and Siccar Point Energy, was extended for a further two years.