The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

MPs to ex­am­ine oil and gas fu­ture


MPs have launched an in­quiry into the fu­ture of the oil and gas in­dus­try in Scot­land.

The Scot­tish Af­fairs Com­mit­tee will look at chal­lenges fac­ing the sec­tor and how they can be tack­led, and ways to se­cure the fu­ture of oil and gas in Scot­land as re­serves de­cline.

It will also ex­am­ine how ef­fec­tive the UK Gov­ern­ment has been in sup­port­ing the long-term fu­ture of the in­dus­try and how to max­imise the eco­nomic re­turn.

The com­mit­tee said Scot­land’s oil and gas is cen­tral to the UK econ­omy, con­tribut­ing ap­prox­i­mately £17 bil­lion to the bal­ance of trade and sup­port­ing more than 300,000 jobs.

Re­cent years have seen a marked down­turn in em­ploy­ment in the sec­tor as pro­duc­tion lev­els are in long-term de­cline, com­pounded by low oil prices and fall­ing tax rev­enues.

MPs will also ex­am­ine the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of oil and gas, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to de­com­mis­sion­ing and how the skills and in­fra­struc­ture can be ap­plied to re­new­ables.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Pete Wishart said: “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.”

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