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Statement on the Future of Oil & Gas

I am a strong supporter of the oil and gas industry and those working in it, particularly in my constituency.

In the remarks I made yesterday I accept that I could have expressed myself better when commenting on the industry’s current position and I apologise for any misunderstanding. The sector faces clear and substantial challenges and as politicians it is our job to work with the industry through these difficult times.  However, despite current challenges, I believe we must also recognise the continued potential of the North Sea as highlighted by Oil and Gas UK earlier this week when they reported on the first increase in production in 15 years.

I am well aware of how challenging current conditions are for those working in the oil and gas industry, and have heard directly from many of my constituents how they have been affected over the past year. I will be seeking meetings with trade union representatives and Oil and Gas UK in coming weeks to discuss this further.

It is vital that we work to support the industry and ensure that there is a future both for current staff and for those who wish to go into the industry. I find it disappointing  to hear politicians spread negativity around the industry when all parties should be working together to support it. I hope that other parties can join the SNP in pushing the UK Government to provide meaningful incentives for exploration in the North Sea, allowing for development of new prospects and ensuring a future for the vital industry and jobs that depend on it.