MPs launch inquiry into long-term viability of the North Sea oil and gas industry

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 26 April 2018 in News

North Sea oil and gas industry contributes approximately £17bn to the UK’s balance of trade and supporting over 300,000 jobs

Image credit: Steven Straiton

The Scottish Affairs Committee will launch an inquiry into the long-term viability of the North Sea oil and gas industry following concerns over falling production and declining investment.

The North Sea oil and gas industry provides around three quarters of the UK’s total energy mix, contributing approximately £17bn to the UK’s balance of trade and supporting over 300,000 jobs.

But with concern growing over falling production over the long term, as well as the environmental impact of decommissioned extraction sites, MPs will this summer take evidence on how best to create a sustainable future for the industry.

Committee chair Pete Wishart said: “Scotland’s oil and gas sector has a long been one the UK’s strongest industries but has undoubtedly gone through a tough time in recent years. The volatility in the price of energy prices has made some types of oil and gas extraction in the North Sea unaffordable, and caused a significant contraction of the sector.

“Nonetheless, we can be proud of being home to a world-leading, high tech job provider that supports so many jobs, provides the backbone of our energy mix and vital tax revenue. We have launched this inquiry to understand the long-term prospects for the sector and understand what role the Government can play in supporting it. We’ll look at how to maximise Scotland’s world-renowned expertise, particularly in relation to growing industries like renewables.

“This will include how we can extract the greatest value from reserves in the North Sea, and how we can ensure the sector in Scotland plays a leading role in oil and gas around the world.”

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