Sir Ian Wood: halting oil drilling would be ‘crazy’
Sir Ian Wood: supported warning over imports
Oil industry veteran Sir Ian Wood says the UK would be “absolutely crazy” if it stopped drilling for oil.
The former CEO and chairman of the eponymous energy services company Wood Group, supported the view that new fields are necessary to stop oil and gas being imported from countries with looser regulations.
Environmentalists say drilling for new oil would be “disastrous for the climate” and have pushed for the proposed Cambo field west of Shetland to be abandoned.
Siccar Point Energy plans to recover 170m barrels of oil from phase one of the Cambo field project.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged the Prime Minister to “reassess” licences, but Tory ministers say oil and gas will remain part of the energy mix and its decline as a primary energy source needs to be properly managed to avoid the UK importing more oil.
In an interview Sir Ian said: “If we don’t have our own oil and gas we’ll have to import it because we just don’t have any other resources.
“And if we import it we’ll have more potent gas and we’ll do more damage to the environment – it would be, frankly, absolutely crazy. It would be detrimental, environmentally.
“Right now there’s 71,000 jobs in oil and gas in Scotland. And if they went out there quickly then these jobs would go.
“Not only that, we’d have a massive balance of payments issue as well.
“It does not make sense from any point of view. You’re better from the economic point of view, from the environment point of view, from the jobs point of view, to carry on the path we’re on.”
Mel Evans, from the environmental group Greenpeace, said Sir Ian’s comments were “a load of rubbish”.