SCOTS comic Frankie Boyle is among the campaigners urging Humza Yousaf to “get off the fence” and oppose plans for the Rosebank oil field in the North Sea.

The news comes from an open letter from Friends of the Earth Scotland, which asks the SNP leader to put pressure on the UK Government to halt plans for Rosebank, which is 80 miles off the coast of Shetland.

Yousaf has previously said he is “not convinced” the development should go ahead, but his Energy Secretary and close ally Neil Gray has refused to vocally oppose it.

Speaking to journalists in August, Gray said it was a decision for the UK Government.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said it received backing from hundreds of performers and visitors during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, and its letter has been signed by Boyle, performer Julia Masli and actor Tam Dean Burn.

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg warns Tories against approving Scottish oil field development

In the letter, Yousaf is told: “Until now you have avoided taking a strong position on the future of the oil and gas industry in Scotland, or on the development of the controversial Rosebank oil field.

“But the time for sitting on the fence is long past, and your silence on new fossil fuels is becoming a tacit approval for these projects.”

Plans for Rosebank, which contains up to 350 million barrels of oil and is currently one of the largest untapped discoveries in UK waters, is devolved to Westminster, but activists have said Yousaf’s “strong opposition” could put pressure on UK ministers.

Rosebank could produce 69,000 barrels of oil per day – about 8% of the UK’s projected daily output between 2026 and 2030 – and could also produce 44 million cubic feet of gas every day, according to Equinor, the Norwegian firm behind the project.

The National: Protest against Rosebank outside of Equinor's Aberdeen HQ

Boyle’s involvement follows his calls for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to throw out the Rosebank plans in February.

In July, Sunak visited Scotland and announced plans to award more than 100 new oil and gas licences in order to “max out” reserves in the North Sea.

Yousaf was confronted over his position on it by one of many hecklers during an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, which saw him respond: “I don't think Scotland's future is in oil and gas.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do to grant 100 new oil and gas licences in the month I think he did it that was said to be the hottest month in human history.

"Scotland's future is in renewables, now we can't turn off the taps tomorrow, oil and gas will be extracted for a period of time to come because we have to make sure we take the workers of the north east with us.”

READ MORE: Tory minister claims Scots suffer 'Victorian diseases in rat-infested cities'

Friends of the Earth campaigner Freya Aitchison said: “People come to Edinburgh from all over the world to perform at and attend the Fringe, and from the outside it looks like Scotland is a green and forward-thinking place.

“From hundreds of conversations in the streets last month, it’s clear that people are frustrated that in reality the Scottish Government doesn’t always live up to this reputation.

“The Scottish Government needs to get off the fence and oppose the climate disaster that is the Rosebank oil field. For too long, they have been dodging the issue and it is time the First Minister gave a clear answer to those asking whether he thinks the development should go ahead.”

Yousaf’s predecessor Nicola Sturgeon previously voiced her opposition to the Cambo oil field being developed, but did not give a straight answer on support for Rosebank.