SCOTLAND Office minister David Duguid’s “unrealistic” claim that oil produced from the Cambo field could “sit in barrels” to mitigate the climate impact has been rubbished.

The Tory MP was interviewed on Good Morning Scotland on BBC Radio on Monday morning ahead of a meeting scheduled with Siccar Point Energy, the operators of the crude oil field, on Tuesday.

The Cambo oil field has become a controversial issue in recent weeks, particularly after the UN’s IPCC report, which warned of a “code red for humanity”, also warned against further exploration of oil and gas.

And last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made her first intervention in the row, and wrote a letter to Boris Johnson asking him to “reassess” the plans for the field.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: What does it mean for climate targets?

Sturgeon told the Prime Minister that licenses like the one Cambo holds, where “field development” is yet to begin, should be reassessed in light of the climate emergency.

The letter led to Douglas Ross wading into the row and citing an old slogan of the SNP from the 1970’s - “it’s Scotland’s oil”.

And now, Tory minister Duguid has made a bizarre suggestion that the oil from Cambo could sit in barrels instead of being used.

Duguid was probed on the crude oil field by BBC reporter Gary Robertson, who pointed out the emissions from Cambo would be the equivalent to that of running 18 coal power stations.

The National:

In response, Duguid said: “If the Cambo project field does get the go ahead, what that will get the go ahead for is to extract that oil and gas.

“What you’re talking about is the consumption and production of that oil and gas…”

Robertson countered the minister and said: “We’re not just extracting it to sit in barrels are we, we are going to use it?”

Duguid replied: “Well, technically you could. That’s the beauty of oil, you can actually store it, gas is more complicated to store.

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“The way to look at it is better to have the oil and gas there and not need it, then to need it and have to export it…”

Duguid continued to say that he would prefer oil and gas is produced in the UK, where safety standards can be guaranteed, rather than importing it.

Scottish Greens co-leader Partick Harvie said on Twitter: “So the UK government now wants to pay tax dodging companies to drill for oil so it can sit in barrels forever.

“And still they accuse others of being unrealistic.”

The National:

Mark Ruskell, (pictured) Scottish Greens climate spokesperson, said: “UK energy policy continues to be written by the oil and gas industry while climate science is ignored.

“There is a huge gulf between the amount of oil and gas we need to use domestically as we make the transition to renewable energy, and the government’s desire to extract every last drop.

"Cambo oil field is not needed or wanted and the suggestion we need to be extracting billions of barrels of oil to make medicine is absurd.”

Caroline Rance, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "It’s clearly ridiculous to suggest that these companies would extract millions of barrels of oil and just keep them on a shelf somewhere.

"But with his comment about keeping oil in the barrels, the Scottish secretary is admitting that the oil should never be burned because of the damage it would do to our climate. The safest place to keep this oil is in the ground.

"The UK Government are describing this meeting as a ‘fact finding’ mission, but the facts are that we don’t need Cambo or any new fossil fuel developments.

"There is more than enough oil and gas in existing fields to see us through the energy transition.”

The Scotland Office has been contacted for comment.