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Activists hail Shell's withdrawal from the Cambo oil field project as a victory

CAMPAIGNERS have hailed Shell’s withdrawal from the Cambo oil field project off Shetland as a victory for activists after months of fighting against the proposals. 

The company, which has 30 per cent equity in the development off the west coast of Shetland, said that it had concluded the economic case for investment was not strong enough.

Private equity firm Siccar Point Energy, which owns a majority stake in the field, said that it was “disappointed at Shell’s change of position,” but added: “We will continue to engage with the UK government and wider stakeholders on the future development of Cambo.”

Politicians in Scotland and across Britain had long raised concerns about the potential harm done by continuing to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea, branding Thursday night’s decision as a breakthrough. 

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift, which is co-ordinating the Stop Cambo campaign, said that the widespread public and political pressure made Cambo untenable. 

She said: “This is the end for Cambo. Shell has seen the writing on the wall.

“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.”

Environmental groups have also reiterated the importance of keeping pressure on Westminster to finally reject the project. 

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 off-shore workers and their communities to the green industries of the future.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s 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 anymore.

“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.”

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