IF your average punter reviewed the Sunday National’s interview with climate change litigant Kairin Van Sweeden and the further article by Mike Small of Bella Caledonia, he or she would gain the impression that the North Sea oil business is a failing economic activity which is for some reason being illogically subsidised by the Westminster government. The SNP government, so you would believe, is also complicit with this. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have worked in the UK and international upstream oil and gas for some 40 years. Let me assure your readers that oil companies producing oil and gas on our UK continental shelf do not receive subsidies of any kind.

READ MORE: Van Sweeden: Why I’m taking 'corrupt' UK to court over oil and gas subsidies

Far from it, our oil companies take 100% of the huge risk in finding, appraising, and producing hydrocarbons and pay more than twice as much corporate tax (40%) as the generally applicable corporate rate, which is at 19%.

The “billions of public cash spent supporting the industry” as cited by Van Sweeden simply does not exist. The industry has been a massive net contributor of taxes to the UK Exchequer since the 1960s. It has also vitally enhanced our energy security. The regulator Oil and Gas Authority is mandated by statute (Energy Act 2016) to pursue the “maximisation of [petroleum] economic recovery”. This is not in any sense contrary to our international climate change obligations, as oil and gas are going to be needed for many years.

Projects like Cambo should and will be approved because if we do not produce Cambo we will simply import hydrocarbons from other less environmentally friendly jurisdictions, and reduce our UK energy security, tax receipts, and jobs.

William Ross