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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11099: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to mitigate job losses in the oil industry following reports that 60,000 were lost in 2016.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 21 September 2017

While the total number of jobs across the UK supported by the industry witnessed a larger drop in 2016 than had previously been estimated by Oil and Gas UK, it is important to note that the pace of contraction has significantly decreased going into 2017. Of these 60,000 jobs lost it is estimated that around 20,000 were based in Scotland. In fact, Oil and Gas UK outlined in their recent Economic Report that the largest reductions in the workforce are likely to be behind us.

The North Sea still holds significant potential with industry estimates indicating that up to 20 billion boe remaining available for potential extraction if the correct market, fiscal and regulatory conditions are in place. However, it is curtail to note that, at present, the key economic and fiscal levers to support the industry remain reserved to the UK Government, and it is clear that further support is required. The Scottish Government will continue to do everything within our powers to support the industry and its workforce, while calling on the UK Government to improve the fiscal and regulatory regime to encourage on-going investment to support jobs and export led growth.

Our Energy Jobs Taskforce has delivered an exceptional range of support for industry and individuals in the sector, and the Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group, which I co-chair along with industry, will continue to help drive forward the actions identified by the Taskforce, ensuring Scotland’s innovative oil and gas sector and its supply chain has a long-term future.