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Oil and gas industry supports 82,000 jobs in Scotland, says trade body

Oil and gas supports 82,000 jobs in Scotland, the OEUK has said (Jane Barlow/PA)
Oil and gas supports 82,000 jobs in Scotland, the OEUK has said (Jane Barlow/PA)

The oil and gas sector supports more than 82,000 jobs in Scotland, according to the industry’s leading trade body.

Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) looked at the economic impact of the sector on employment and income for north of the border in a recent study.

Its research, commissioned by business services company Experian, also found the oil and gas industry contributes £16 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy of Scotland.

Overall, OEUK said the industry continues to meet some 75% of the UK’s energy needs.

And with Aberdeen being regarded as the UK’s “energy capital”, the trade body said companies in Scotland play a “critical role” in maintaining Britain’s existing energy supplies while also building new, low-carbon alternatives.

Following the publication of these new figures, Jenny Stanning, of OEUK, said: “Companies in Scotland help maintain the country’s supplies of home-produced oil and gas while also building the low carbon energy systems of the future.”

She added: “By supporting the production of energy in the UK, we can attract the investment needed to avoid becoming increasingly reliant on imported energy, support jobs, and continue to make a significant contribution to the economy while meeting our climate goals.”

OEUK pointed to its member, Neptune Energy, which recently announced it will spend more than 1.0 billion US dollars (£820 million) over the next five years to secure UK energy supplies.

A portion of this investment will be in the Seagull development, which proposes to use existing infrastructure to produce about 50,000 barrels of oil a day for the UK from 2023.

Located in the central North Sea, the development will use existing infrastructure to bring production forward quickly and is said to reduce reliance on imported oil, OEUK said.

Earlier this month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a new windfall tax which will put a 25% surcharge on profits of oil and gas giants.

It is hoped the policy will raise as much as £5 billion.

But energy firms have warned it could be detrimental to the sector, and could damage investment in the North Sea.

Ms Stanning said OEUK continues to remain concerned about the impact of the tax on the sector “at a time when we need to prioritise energy produced in the UK”.

A consultation on the windfall tax policy is due to close on Tuesday.