Oil & Gas UK, the representative body for the UK’s oil and gas industry, applauded the government’s decision to back up Aberdeen, the nation’s oil and gas capital, with a £250 million ($358M) funding package which will benefit the oil and gas sector.
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, commented: “We very much welcome Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Aberdeen and his recognition of the seriousness of our situation.
“His announcement today of a £250 million fund for the Aberdeen Region City Deal, coupled with the matched funding from the Scottish Government, is a much needed positive step forward for north east Scotland and will benefit our sector more widely.”
The Aberdeen City Deal will address a number of proposals from the region including a new energy innovation centre, supporting the industry to exploit remaining North Sea reserves, as well towards the expansion of Aberdeen harbour, enabling the city to compete for decommissioning work.
The Oil & Gas UK CEO said that the global pressure on the oil and gas sector was being felt particularly forcefully on the UK Continental Shelf which is a mature basin that has to compete with international energy hubs like Houston and Dubai.
The UKCS needs to restore competitiveness and attractiveness as a place to do business or else the billions of barrels of oil and gas will remain in the North Sea, Deirdre Michie added.
Michie also welcomed the new ministerial group on oil and gas, chaired by Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd: “Senior level, co-ordinated engagement from Government to support the industry and those who work in it is very encouraging. The group’s focus on exports, skills and investment is highly relevant in today’s climate and Oil & Gas UK stands ready to engage with it on its workforce plan in the Spring.
“Despite our difficulties, this is still very much an industry with future, capable of playing a critical role in meeting the UK’s energy needs, bolstering the UK economy and supporting hundreds of thousands of UK jobs.”