‘Outrageous’ Sturgeon shamed for shunning Scotland’s golden opportunity to ‘replace Putin’

Nicola Sturgeon challenged on Cambo North Sea oil field

The SNP have staunchly opposed new exploration off the coast of Scotland, including the Cambo oil field, around 75 miles off the coast of the Shetland Islands. But Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has changed political attitudes to domestic oil production, with a desire to rid the UK of Russian oil dependence prevailing.

Tony Miklinski, Scottish Tory councillor for Cupar, Fife, told Express.co.uk that Ms Sturgeon’s refusal to reorientate the SNP’s energy policy on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was “outrageous”.

Mr Miklinski said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s policy of resisting the development of North Sea oil and gas, and, indeed, fracking opportunities in Scotland, makes no sense whatsoever in light of Ukraine’s situation.”

He added the West should “wean ourselves off any reliance on Putin’s oil and gas”, but that the Scottish Government’s strategies were not realistic.

North Sea oil and gas has played a fundamental role in Scotland’s economy, peaking in 1999.

sturgeon

The SNP have staunchly opposed new exploration off the coast of Scotland (Image: Getty)

oil tanker

The UK remains dependent on Russian oil imports for eight percent of its energy supply (Image: Getty)

Tax revenues from North Sea oil have fallen over the last few years, but they still account for over 10 percent of Scotland’s GDP, according to law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

The UK remains dependent on Russian oil imports for eight percent of its energy supply, although the UK Government announced earlier this month all Russian imports would be phased out.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson forecasted the UK hoped to do so by the end of 2022, adding: In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year.”

Mr Miklinski said the “only way” to extricate the UK, Europe and the West from this dependency is “to find alternative sources” to avoid cutting homes and businesses off from power.

READ MORE: Andrew Neil highlights questions Russia’s hypersonic missile attack

sturgeon bp

North Sea oil and gas has played a fundamental role in Scotland’s economy, peaking in 1999 (Image: Getty)

Mr Miklinski urged: “We should be going hell for leather to develop what’s left of North Sea oil and gas, and consider the options for nuclear capability to generate electricity.”

He added Scotland and the UK were “doing well” in developing renewable sources of energy for the long term, but “our own sea bed” is the “first stop for replacing Putin supplies”.

He raised the possibility of even exporting North Sea oil and gas to the rest of Europe, if the SNP would “see sense”.

He finished exasperatedly: “It’s actually outrageous.”

DON’T MISS: 
Brexit LIVE: Bumper victory looms as UK and US set date and location [LIVE] 
Boris Johnson ‘right that Britain wanted to be free from EU’ ‒ POLL [REVEAL] 
Ukraine map: All cities where Russia has seized military control [MAP]

boris aberdeen

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Ms Sturgeon’s attitude towards North Sea oil (Image: Getty)

This comes as energy giant Shell reconsider pulling investment from the Cambo oil field project.

Sources close to the corporation told the BBC that the geopolitical terrain, and how it has changed in 2022, needed to be taken into account.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Ms Sturgeon’s attitude towards North Sea oil, telling the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen he was committed to making “sensible use” of the UK’s own oil and gas resources, following high-profile visits to the Middle East to court alternative suppliers for the UK’s energy demand.

Mr Johnson told the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen: “Are we not crazy to be talking about completely shutting down domestic production?

shetlands oil

Tax revenues from North Sea oil have fallen over the last few years (Image: Getty)

“Only to buy oil and gas at a vast mark up from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

A similar message was echoed by Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, who called the SNP’s refusal to look into new domestic oil drilling “astonishing”.

He commented: “The argument for carefully using our own resources was strong before Putin invaded Ukraine but now it is unanswerable.

“There must be a future for oil and gas as we transition to net zero.

“It is astonishing we have a Scottish Government that is opposed to developing our own oil and gas resources.

“But that’s the price Nicola Sturgeon has paid for putting the Greens into power.

“Fortunately, oil and gas is the responsibility of the UK Government – so Scotland will not have to pay the price for her misguided move.”

Continuing to press for a transition to clean energy rather than oil exploration, Ms Sturgeon said projects like the Cambo oil field would not impact the world reducing its reliance on Russian oil.

She told the BBC: “For the UK, the dependency on Russian oil and gas is much, much, much less than it is for Europe and for many other countries.

“What I think it means is that we need to yes, consider short-term actions but actually the real lesson of this in terms of removing dependency on Russian oil and gas is accelerating the green transition.”