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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10174: Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 4 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has held with GE and Baker Hughes regarding their merger and what impact this may have on jobs in the (a) north east and (b) the rest of Scotland.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 28 July 2017

I regularly meet with senior representatives from the oil and gas industry. I most recently met with GE on the 1st June 2017 where a broad range of energy issues including GE’s interests in offshore oil and gas activity, renewables, and the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy were discussed.

The Scottish Government will monitor any implications for Scottish employment from the merger of GE and Baker Hughes. It is estimated that GE employs around 22,000 individuals across the UK and Ireland, while Baker Hughes employed 1,775 individuals in the UK at the end of 2016. The merger has the potential to unlock advantages in terms of consistency in service provision, increased R&D, and the sharing of best practise, but of course we will be particularly keen to understand employment and investment implications for Scotland.

There has been a strong increase in corporate activity across the North Sea oil and gas sector since the turn of the year, acting as a vote of confidence in the basin following a number of challenging years. In order to Maximising Economic Recovery from the North Sea it is important that assets are in the right hands, supporting increased investment and activity across the basin.