SCOTLAND’S energy secretary was today urged to answer a major North Sea oil and gas firm’s “disappointment” with SNP attitudes to development.
Ithaca criticised the First Minister and his Ministers over their public reaction to the Rosebank field being given the go-ahead.
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The energy giant wrote to First Minister Humza Yousaf, days after the Glasgow MSP attacked the UK Government’s decision, on October 2 last year.
A letter obtained by the Scottish Daily Express newspaper through freedom of information requests, seen by the Scottish Conservatives, says an earlier, private meeting with Yousaf left Aberdeen-based companies with a “common understanding”.
But the missive, understood to be from outgoing CEO Alan Bruce, goes on to say: “It was disappointing that no Scottish Minister gave any sign that the jobs likely to be supported in Scotland by this project were welcome. Polling over the past several days would suggest that ‘most reasonable people’ in Scotland are welcoming of the investment.”
The Ithaca letter also hit out at the SNP government’s use of “unlimited extraction” rhetoric and asked for a meeting to “review evidence” of this.
Ithaca owns 20% of the Rosebank oil field, and acquired 100% of the prospective Cambo field from Siccar Point Energy in 2022.
North East MSP Douglas Lumsden has hit out at the SNP’s “two-faced” position which will embarrass local SNP MPs and MSPs.
He asked cabinet secretary Neil Gray at a meeting of Holyrood’s net zero committee:
Scottish Conservatives shadow cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport Douglas Lumsden MSP said:
“The Minister’s waffling comments today are just what’s frustrating the oil and gas sector about this Scottish Government’s approach.
“The SNP have to be dragged kicking and screaming to say they support the industry — but will not agree with the development required to get that transition to net zero.
“Humza Yousaf and his cabinet are happy to demonise the industry with misleading claims about maximum extraction, often within days of feigning interest in its clean energy goals.
“Rosebank will contribute to supporting 90,000 Scottish jobs, while winding down extraction in the North Sea.
“It’s unforgivable that not one minister could bring themselves to welcome this.
“This letter will embarrass the Minister’s local colleagues who are captive to this two-faced approach.”