FERGUS Ewing, the Scottish Energy Minister, today announced the names of the four oil industry leaders and academics who have been appointed to the expert commission, established to examine how an independent Scotland could maximise the returns from North Sea oil and gas.
The Independent Expert Commission on Oil and Gas will be chaired Melfort Campbell, chairman and chief executive of the Imes Group and co-chair of the Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group.
He will joined by Alex Kemp, Professor of Petroleum Economics at Aberdeen University; Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of the Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University; and Dick Winchester, a member of the Scottish Energy Advisory Board and managing director of Pipistrelle Ltd.
Mr Ewing said: “This Government is committed to positive engagement with the Oil and Gas Industry and I am very confident that the work of this Commission will provide vital advice and recommendations on the technical application of the policy framework which would underpin Scottish Government Policy in an Independent Scotland.
“The Scottish Government values independent advice while refining its final proposals for the operation of the offshore fiscal, regulatory and licensing regimes and that is why today’s announcement is of key importance. “
He added: “My colleagues and I are committed to an open and informed debate about Scotland’s constitutional future. Engagement with key stakeholders is vital to ensure a clear and robust case is put into the public domain on areas of strategic importance to Scotland’s economy and society.”
A Government spokesman explained: “The Commission will provide independent expert advice on the technical application of the policy framework in an independent Scotland. In doing so it will consider how the fiscal, regulatory or licensing regime in an independent Scotland could address the future challenges facing the sector, and harness the opportunities available. Stakeholders will be invited to give evidence to ensure comprehensive consideration is given to all relevant issues and a broad range of industry views are reflected in the final report.”
Mr Campbell said: “I am very pleased to be chairing this Independent Expert Commission. I and the other commissioners are very much looking forward to working closely with a wide range of industry figures to ensure that the final report is comprehensive and is representative of the industry as a whole. This represents a vital opportunity for the industry to have a say in what oil and gas policy could look like in an independent Scotland.”