Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Joseph Anderson
10 March 2022
Sturgeon faces call to push for increased oil and gas production

Cromarty Firth, Highlands

Sturgeon faces call to push for increased oil and gas production

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has faced down calls to increase the production of Scottish oil and gas in light of energy insecurity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At First Minister’s Questions, both Sturgeon and the Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross voiced their support for the people and government of Ukraine, and condemned Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

However, Ross pressured the First Minister on Scotland’s oil and gas resources, which he said could be “maximised” to increase Scotland’s, and Europe’s, energy security and move away from Russian gas.

Ross said: “Russia’s appalling actions have put a renewed focus on energy security.

“In Scotland, we have the natural resources to protect our own supply and even export to other countries to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

“Last night, the former SNP energy minister said, and I quote, ‘In principle, we do need more oil and gas… we need all the oil and gas production that we can get’. I agree with Fergus Ewing.

“We can protect Scottish jobs and secure our energy supply.

“First Minister, surely now is the time to maximise oil and gas production in Scotland, using the energy on our own doorstep?”

However, Sturgeon replied that even if the Scottish Government was minded to increase oil and gas production, it would be difficult to do so on a short or even medium-term timescale.

Sturgeon said: “The climate crisis has not gone away, and even if we were to put to one side the environmental considerations - which we shouldn't - it's not credible to suggest that the short-term solution to this crisis lies in increasing North Sea production.

“We shouldn't go after solutions that might sound superficially attractive, but don't stand scrutiny around the practicalities and the reality.

“In the short term, what we must see is action from the [UK Government] Chancellor to shield households across the UK from rising prices.

“In the medium to longer term, the action we need to take to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels is exactly the same action that the world needs to take to address the climate emergency.

“We must accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables.”

The First Minister gave the example of the Cambo oil field, claiming that even if the Scottish Government approved extraction today, it would be years before production commenced.

When pressed on the need for nuclear energy by Ross, the First Minister replied it would take decades to get a nuclear power plant up and running.

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Joseph Anderson - SNP Depute leader warns 'Labour will give way to the Tories'.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top