Tories Must Act to Support Viability of North Sea Oil and Gas

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Friday September 14 2018

Drew Hendry MP (pictured) has called on the UK Government to act to secure the future of North Sea oil and gas, following the publication of a report by an industry organisation.

The report from Oil and Gas UK outlined the sector’s great potential, noting that six major projects have gained approval in the first eight months of the year and acknowledging the North Sea is leading the way in both regulatory and fiscal planning.

However, following media reports questioning the fiscal regime, there is great concern across the sector that Philip Hammond may hike taxes on the sector in the UK Government’s Budget which could prove damaging to the oil and gas sector at a time when the its future success depends on its competitiveness.

Commenting, SNP Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Spokesperson at Westminster Drew Hendry MP said:

"This report from Oil and Gas UK shows the sector’s strength in Scotland, with production on track to be 20% higher than in 2014, investor confidence returning and revenues strong.

“But despite raising hundreds of millions of pounds for the UK Treasury, successive Governments at Westminster have failed to provide adequate support for the industry and the families that depend on it.

“The UK Government must not undermine the North Sea by using it as a cash cow in the Budget and must instead invest to keep the sector competitive, as suggested in this report.

“The SNP have long demanded a more stable fiscal regime for the oil and gas industry and in Government at Holyrood have invested £12.5 million innovation fund to help the industry to seek new opportunities.

“If the UK Government are to be taken seriously on oil and gas, they must now step up and back the sector - not just exploit it.”

 

 

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