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Energy / Protestors gather to voice opposition to Rosebank oil development

A photo from a Rosebank protest in Lerwick in June, Photo: Dave Donaldson

ANOTHER protest against the proposed Rosebank oil development west of Shetland was held in Lerwick earlier (Friday) – this time at the town’s Market Cross and Commercial Street.

It comes after a similar protest at the Clickimin earlier this month.

Rosebank is the largest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea region and it has the potential to produce hundreds of million barrels of oil over its lifetime.

The field sits around 130km to the west of Shetland, and Norwegian state-owned energy company Equinor is behind the development. Its final go-ahead rests with the UK Government.

Environmental campaigners say the development should not go ahead and that alternative forms of energy production should be pursued.

But those in favour say oil is needed during the transition to net zero.

One of the protest’s key players, Green councillor Alex Armitage, said the “climate breakdown is here and now” and that people “must learn to live, individually and collectively, in a way that limits the emissions of deadly carbon into the atmosphere”.

Around 30 or so people gathered at the Market Cross, with drums also being played.

They were watched by another councillor, Allison Duncan, who holds an opposing view and is in support of more oil and gas development in waters off Shetland.

He said anti-oil protestors are “wasting their time” and that more development was beneficial to “Shetland PLC”.

A Norwegian TV crew was also in attendance capturing the protest.

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