SHELL pulling investment in the controversial Cambo field shows Scotland is “approaching the end of the age of oil and gas”, the Scottish Greens have said.

Environmental campaigners hailed the news that the oil giant had ended its 30% investment in the crude oil field located 125km off the west coast of Shetland.

Shell made the announcement on Thursday night, claiming that the economic case for investment in the project is “not strong enough”.

Climate activists praised “people power” for forcing the oil giant to back off from the project and said they hoped it signalled a “death blow” for Cambo.

However, regulator Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said that the decision won’t mean the end of oil and gas projects to “protect security of supply” and avoid increasing reliance on imports.

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The UK Government’s policy on oil and gas extraction is currently Maximum Economic Recovery (MER), which has been in place since 2016.

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Greens MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said that the news shows Scotland is approaching the “end of the age of oil and gas” and called on governments to start “planning accordingly”.

He added: “For a company like Shell to publicly state that it is not economically viable to extract oil from this site is hugely significant.

“Scotland has the potential to lead Europe in offshore renewables, with 25% of the continent's offshore renewable energy potential.

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“So, in the wake of this announcement it’s clear that the UK Government must divert support that has previously been targetted at oil and gas toward industries of the future.

“It is vital that work on building a just transition for workers in Scotland’s energy industry begins now.

“We know that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created in Scotland’s renewable future, and there's no time to waste."

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie welcomed Shell’s announcement and said it was “necessary news” but also a “challenge".

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The Zero carbon buildings minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “It’s a challenge to all of us to recognise that the world is now finally, at long last, after decades of effort by the fossil fuel industry to slow this down, to deny the problem and to distract us from it, the world is finally moving away from fossil fuels.

“That means that we need massive investment in the sustainable industries of the future.”

Greenpeace called on the UK Government to reject the permit for Cambo, currently under consideration by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

We previously told how the environmental campaigners accused the UK Government of “misleading” the public by claiming they had no power to intervene in signing off the project.

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Philip Evans, oil campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The truth is rejecting the permit is the only practical option. Anything else would be a disaster for our climate and would leave the UK consumer vulnerable to volatile fossil fuel markets.

“It’s time Boris Johnson put this distraction aside and got on with the urgent task of delivering a just transition for offshore workers and their communities to the green industries of the future.”

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift, which is coordinating the Stop Cambo campaign, said that Shell’s decision makes it clear “economics are against new oil and gas developments”.

She added: "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.”

The National:

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However, OGUK said Shell’s decision doesn’t change the fact that the UK will “need new oil and gas projects”, citing the need to protect security of supply, avoiding reliance on imports and supporting jobs in the sector.

Jenny Stanning, OGUK’s external relations director, added: “However, we know that to deliver the transition to a lower carbon future, investor confidence remains essential.

“The government has made clear that 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.”

The Scottish Tories have claimed that stopping Cambo would risk “Scottish jobs, our energy supply and ability to meet net zero targets”.

The National:

Liam Kerr, Scottish Tory MSP (pictured above), then criticised comments made by Harvie on Radio 4 and seemed to suggest Nicola Sturgeon was at fault for Shell’s decision.

The First Minister recently told MSPs in Holyrood that she didn’t think Cambo should be given the greenlight.

Kerr said: “Her opposition to future oil and gas projects seems to be discouraging investment already. It won't help if she lets government ministers take pot shots at everyone who works in oil and gas.

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"We warned bringing the extremist Greens into government would hurt Scotland's economy and, already, it's damaging business confidence and risking jobs.”

The National asked the UK Government if Shell’s decision to pull investment would have any impact on the production license currently under consideration and if they will reconsider it.

We also asked if the UK intends to continue to pursue MER in the North Sea.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “This is a commercial decision that has been taken independently by Shell.”