MSPs will vote on the future of the oil and gas industry during a debate brought by the Scottish Conservatives tomorrow designed to exert pressure on the SNP.

It follows an announcement last week that work on the controversial 800 million barrel Cambo oil field off Shetland was being paused.

Siccar Point Energy, the company behind the development, said Shell’s decision to withdraw its 30% equity meant they could not continue with their timescale to start drilling.

The Scottish Government had earlier called on the UK Government to “reassess” approved oil licences in line with climate commitments as he former called for a “just transition” away from oil and gas to renewable energy.

Environmental groups have long opposed the Cambo oil field and welcomed news it was on hold.

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The Tories’ opposition debate will take place tomorrow afternoon.

Scottish Conservative net zero spokesman Liam Kerr said: “The corrosive influence of the Greens in parliament is already costing Scottish jobs, and may well have cost us the entire Cambo project.”

He continued: “The SNP-Green Government’s naive understanding of our energy needs will only force Scotland to import more energy from abroad, costing the public more and increasing emissions.

“The Scottish Conservatives believe that our oil and gas industry has a crucial role to play in our journey to net zero.

“The SNP’s decision to abandon the oil and gas industry in Scotland could destroy Scottish livelihoods for no environmental gain whatsoever – and the Scottish Conservatives are determined to hold the Scottish Government to account on this deeply unjust move.”

The National: First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon

Last month Nicola Sturgeon said Cambo should not be given the green light prompting SNP politicians in the north east of Scotland to raise concerns over the impact of such a decision on the area’s economy which is still heavily dependent on North Sea drilling. The decision will be taken by the UK Government.

Senior party figures in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, where the majority of the 100,000 jobs supported by the oil and gas industry are based, warned that rejecting the Cambo proposal would be worse for the environment and severely harm the economy.

The First Minister had said she did not believe the development should go ahead in a shift from her position of demanding environmental impact assessments.

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Writing for The Times last month, Fergus Mutch – the former SNP head of press and research – who stood for election in Aberdeenshire West at the Holyrood election in May, said opposing Cambo and other developments risked a “Thatcherite decimation of an industry” with “jobs flung on the scrapheap”.

Gillian Martin, the Aberdeenshire East MSP, urged ministers to recognise that decreasing domestic oil and gas supply would lead to greater imports that would have “a far greater impact on our carbon footprint” than drilling. Jackie Dunbar, the Aberdeen Donside MSP, warned against “a hard shutdown of the oil and gas sector” that would see Scotland “reliant on imports with thousands left unemployed”.

The Conservatives have made gains in the northeast in recent years. Although Dunbar and Martin won comfortably in May, there were swings of 12.4 points and 6.1 points respectively away from the SNP in their constituencies.