OWNERS of the controversial Cambo oil field site have met with a UK government minister to explain their plans.
David Duguid, the minister for Scotland, met with Siccar Point Energy this morning.
The firm, which has an exploration licence for the site off Shetland,and is looking for permission to extract oil and gas there, said it would use modern technology and equipment to reduce emissions if it was given the green-light.
Following the meeting Mr Duguid insisted oil and gas were an”critical” part of the UK’s path towards net zero carbon emissions.
The Cambo site, which could produce as much as 880 million barrels of oil, has drawn the attention of climate campaigners and politicians, who argue the UK should not be allowing new oil fields to open.
However the UK Government has argued that the initial exploration license was granted 20 years ago, and if the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) grant an extraction licence, it would not be for the full 880 million, but rather a smaller amount of around 170 million barrels.
Mr Duguid suggested during a radio interview on Monday that the oil could be extracted but not used.
Last week Nicola Sturgeon wrote to Boris Johnson urging him to reassess the licence – a move which also garnered criticism from some who said she was ‘’hiding’ behind Westminster.
Following today’s meeting between Mr Duguid and Siccar Energy Point, the minister said: “It is vitally important that we engage with the oil and gas industry as they have a critical role as the UK transitions towards clean energy as part of our net zero targets.
“Whilst our reliance and demand for fossil fuels continues to fall, we cannot have a cliff-edge where oil and gas are abandoned overnight as they have a role to play in our electricity supply, in providing local jobs, and in supporting the production of everyday essentials like medicines.
“The UK Government together with industry is pioneering managed change with the North Sea Transition Deal, supporting vital jobs in Scotland while developing technology, innovation and expertise that will be critical to net zero and fighting climate change in line with our aims at COP26 in Glasgow in November.”
A decision on whether to grant the extraction licence is expected before the end of the year.