CAMPAIGNERS have hailed the "end for Cambo" after one of the main investors in developing the oil field has decided not to move forward with investment in the project.

Oil giant Shell, which holds a 30% stake in the oil field, said that its reason not to proceed was that the "economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough” along with the potential for delays.

The oil field located to the west of the Shetland Islands had the potential to produce 175 million barrels of oil in its first phase and has been widely targetted by environmental campaigners.

A Shell spokesperson said: “Before taking investment decisions on any project we conduct detailed assessments to ensure the best returns for the business and our shareholders. After comprehensive screening of the proposed Cambo development, we have concluded the economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough at this time, as well as having the potential for delays.

“However, continued investment in oil and gas in the UK remains critical to the country’s energy security. As Shell works to help accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy, we remain committed to supplying UK customers with the fuels they still rely on, including oil and gas.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Despite what Alex Salmond says, the case for Cambo makes no sense

“We believe the North Sea – and Shell in it – have a critical role to play in the UK’s energy mix, supporting the jobs and skills to enable a smooth transition to Britain’s low-carbon future.”

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The other investor Siccar Point Energy - which holds the remaining 70% stake - said they were "disappointed by Shell’s change of position" as the oil giant had supported development of the field in October.

Siccar Point Energy said they will "review options for this important development".

Responding to the news, Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: "The economic case for oil and gas is crumbling. Change is possible. We can build a future for humanity."

Slater's co-leader, Patrick Harvie agreed, tweeting: "Yet more evidence that fossil fuel is the industry of the past. We need investment in the sustainable industries of the future, and an end to new oil and gas extraction."

In November, as COP26 ended in Glasgow, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon voiced her strongest opinion so far on the proposed development, saying: “I don’t think that Cambo should get the green light.”

Sturgeon had previously urged the UK Government to reassess the plans, amid growing concern over the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift, which is co-ordinating the Stop Cambo campaign, said: “This is the end for Cambo. Shell has seen the writing on the wall.

"Its statement makes it clear that the economics are against new oil and gas developments. But the widespread public and political pressure is what’s made Cambo untenable. There is now broad understanding that there can be no new oil and gas projects anywhere if we’re going to maintain a safe climate.

"This is a message to the UK government that there is no case for new oil and gas. It must put Cambo out of its misery and reject it now.”

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Friends of the Earth Scotland’s climate and energy campaigner Caroline Rance said: “People power has made the climate-wrecking Cambo development so toxic that even oil giant Shell doesn’t want to be associated with it any more.

“Shell could see what way the wind was blowing with the project facing fierce opposition, and costly delays, from the public, climate groups and politicians.

“This marks the beginning of the end for all new oil and gas projects.

“Climate science is clear that there can be no new fossil fuels, and now Shell has admitted there’s no economic case in new oil and gas either.

“Both the UK and Scottish Governments must now officially reject Cambo, say no to any future oil and gas developments in UK waters and get on with planning a fair and fast transition for people working in this industry.”

READ MORE: Regulator refuses to release controversial Cambo oil field correspondence

Head of Oxfam Scotland Jamie Livingstone said: “Shell has finally realised the economic case for drilling new oil at Cambo when the world is already burning simply does not stack up.

“This is a positive step but not the end of the road and it is now incumbent on the Oil & Gas Authority and the UK Government to do the right thing and veto production at Cambo and other oilfields in the UK. The COP26 summit saw some welcome signals that the world must phase out oil and gas production, but giving Cambo the green light would send entirely the opposite message.

“The last thing the world needs in a climate crisis is drilling for more oil. This must be a step towards the end of this and every other new oilfield."

Oil and Gas regulator OGUK, which has been a proponent of Cambo, warned that the UK will still need new oil and gas projects.

Jenny Stanning, OGUK’s external relations director, said: “This is a commercial decision between partners but doesn’t change the facts that the UK will continue to need new oil and gas projects if we are to protect security of supply, avoid increasing reliance on imports and support jobs.

“However, we know that to deliver the transition to a lower carbon future, investor confidence remains essential. Gas and oil have a critical role to play in the nation’s future energy supply and we will continue to work with governments, industry and politicians of all parties to make this case.”