The protest took place outside Cambridge's Senate HouseTommy Castellani for Varsity

Cambridge students have promised to disrupt London’s annual meeting of oil executives, as protests against the university’s continued ties to Schlumberger hit Cambridge last weekend (30/01).

Activists said they would conduct their “biggest and boldest action yet” at next weekend’s “Oil and Money Conference”, a major meeting of executives from companies like Shell, BP, Total and Saudi Aramco.

Having run since 1980, the “Oil and Money Conference” was rebranded in 2020 as the “Energy Intelligence Forum”.

The conference is taking place just weeks ahead of COP28′s November opening, and will also host Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, who holds the presidency of the UN climate talks in Dubai. Sultan Al-Jaber’s appointment has been scrutinised, given his role as chief executive of the UAE’s national oil company.

Several protestors committed to the action after Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion, Cambridge Climate Justice, and Schlumberger Out, amongst others, gathered for an “emergency” protest’ outside Senate House last weekend.

The protest was organised in reaction to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s approval of the UK’s largest oil and gas project in years, at the North Sea’s Rosebank oilfield.

One Cambridge PhD student, who organises for Fossil Free London, said the group will “make London inhospitable to the fossil fuel industry and financiers by tarnishing their image using direct action, creative stunts and disruption”.

“We will be holding our biggest, boldest action yet and encourage people to join us to shut down the exclusive summit”, they said.

“We will not let these climate criminals continue to roll in profits while we and our beautiful planet drown and burn”, they continued, stating climate groups will be “demanding oil money out of our politics, out of our lives, and out of our futures”.


Mountain View

University should stop accepting research funding from fossil fuel industry, report finds

Other activists who did not commit to the disruption in London also spoke at the Cambridge protests. Speakers criticised the government’s Rosebank expansion as well as the presence of oilfield services company Schlumberger’s research facility in West-Cambridge.

Chiara Sarti, a Cambridge Just Stop Oil activist, said she was “disgusted by the failure of the universities to meaningfully call out the government on the genocidal plans for new oil and gas”.

“The university is deeply complicit through working with Schlumberger, taking grants from fossil fuel companies, and sending delegates to UN COP”, Sarti stated.

Peach Rose, an activist from the Schlumberger Out campaign, said: “despite being rated red by the university, it (Schlumberger) is still on campus.”

The University of Cambridge and Schlumberger were approached for comment.