Scottish Government hails oil and gas strategy

Fergus Ewing says the North Sea is a valuable asset. Picture: Leon McGowran
Fergus Ewing says the North Sea is a valuable asset. Picture: Leon McGowran
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The Scottish Government has welcomed progress in its oil and gas strategy one year after it was launched.

The industry reported an increase in supply chain sales and more engagement between companies and the government’s jobs agency Scottish Enterprise.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “North Sea oil and gas is a hugely valuable asset.

“There are an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil still to be recovered, with a potential wholesale value of up to £1.5 trillion, and with some estimates suggesting it could be substantially higher still.

Experience

“Decades of experience recovering oil and gas from the challenging North Sea has given Scottish companies the expertise needed for oil and gas production and exploration, expertise which is helping our companies gain contracts in countries around the world.”

He was speaking before an industry event being held in Aberdeen.

It comes just days after the UK Government announced it is launching a review of how to exploit the most oil and gas from offshore reserves

The independent review, chaired by Aberdonian businessman Sir Ian Wood, will look at increasing the production of oil and gas from the UK Continental Shelf.

The Scottish Government’s oil and gas strategy update found that supply chain sales increased by 5.8% in 2011-12 to reach £17.2 billion against a 2020 target of £30 billion.

Ambitions

Scottish Enterprise recruited more than 40 companies in the past year to its account management process, which aims to help firms achieve growth ambitions.

A further event is being held in Aberdeen tomorrow to look at finance for smaller enterprises in the sector.

Mr Ewing will be joined at the event by Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary in the UK Government.