Humza Yousaf warned that Scots will trust judgement of energy industry experts such as Sir Ian Wood over his on Rosebank

29/09/2023
Scottish Conservative energy spokesman and North East MSP Douglas Lumsden

FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has been told Scots will trust the judgment of energy industry experts over his when it comes to Rosebank. 

The North Sea Transition Authority on Wednesday granted development and production consent for the UK’s largest undeveloped oil field, north-west of Shetland, which holds an estimated 300 million barrels.

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This was welcomed by the industry and business leaders, who underlined the importance of meeting the UK’s fossil fuels demand with domestic production, rather than relying on overseas imports. 

Humza Yousaf immediately said the NSTA approval was the “wrong decision”. 

But industry cornerstone Sir Ian Wood said it would “underpin our ability to accelerate the transition to net-aero and help us reposition the north-east of Scotland as a globally recognised renewables energy cluster.”

And a report by Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University said retention of the oil and gas supply chain will be “crucial” to the country’s decarbonisation efforts. 

At a portfolio questions session at Holyrood, Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said: “After Rosebank was given the go ahead yesterday, Sir Ian Wood, with over 60 years industry experience, multiple doctorates and a track record of business success said it would accelerate a just transition to net zero & sustain thousands of jobs. 

“Serial corrector of the record over energy stats and career politician Humza Yousaf said Rosebank will slow the pace of the transition.  

“Whose analysis should the people of Scotland put their trust in?”

And after a ministerial statement on the “vision” for Scotland’s energy, North East MSP Douglas Lumsden pointed to research showing how crucial Rosebank could be for the region. 

The Scottish Conservative shadow net zero secretary pointed to a recent report by the Robert Gordon University, stating that “retaining the offshore oil and gas supply chain, its workforce and associated skills over the next five years will be crucial to the UK successful transition to renewable energies.”.

He said: “If we apply the brakes too quickly the workforce will be lost and we won’t have the people or skills to make the transition. 

“The First Minister has condemned the approval of Rosebank and wants to turn his back on £8bn of investment and turn his back on over 90,000 jobs in his latest betrayal of the North East. 

“The people of Scotland will trust the expertise and experience of specialist academics at RGU and Sir Ian Wood over Humza Yousaf’s rhetoric.”

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