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.”