Energy debate

Tories force debate on future of oil and gas

Stop Cambo

Campaigners have called for no further exploration

Scottish Conservatives have forced a vote on the future of oil and gas production in Scotland.

The debate in Holyrood on Wednesday comes after the Cambo Oil Field project off Shetland suffered two blows in quick succession – first, Shell pulling out of the project, then all further work being paused on Friday by its partner Siccar Point.

The Scottish Conservatives have accused the Scottish Government of “abandoning” the oil and gas industry and risking thousands of jobs in the North East, to appease their Green coalition partners. 

Nicola Sturgeon had previously called for future oil and gas projects to be “reassessed”, before finally saying in November that Cambo “shouldn’t get the green light”.

The Scottish Conservatives have said that this is proof of the “corrosive influence” of the Green party in parliament.

Green Minister Patrick Harvie recently welcomed news of Shell’s withdrawal from the Cambo project, saying, “It’s great the project looks like it’s on the skids”.

Cambo’s supporters say the oil and gas industry provides tens of thousands of jobs in the North East of Scotland and is worth around £18billion to the region’s economy.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Liam Kerr said: “It beggars belief that the SNP are willing to abandon an industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs and adds billions to our economy, simply to appease a few Scottish Green ministers in their Cabinet.

“The corrosive influence of the Greens in parliament is already costing Scottish jobs, and may well have cost us the entire Cambo project. 

“This is not the ‘just transition’ that oil and gas workers were promised, this is a sudden cliff edge that risks devastating communities in the North East.

“Imported oil and gas has a carbon footprint more than twice that of domestic production, and would make it even harder for us to reach net zero. 

“The SNP-Green Government’s naïve understanding of our energy needs will only force Scotland to import more energy from abroad, costing the public more and increasing emissions.

“The Scottish Conservatives believe that our oil and gas industry has a crucial role to play in our journey to net zero.

“The SNP’s decision to abandon the oil and gas industry in Scotland could destroy Scottish livelihoods for no environmental gain whatsoever – and the Scottish Conservatives are determined to hold the Scottish Government to account on this deeply unjust move.”

The Scottish Government says it supports a just transition from oil to cleaner energies, which means it will safeguard jobs in the oil and gas industry.

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