Getting 10bn MER barrels of oil would generate $550bn of N. Sea investment, Tory Energy spokesman tells Holyrood MPs

Holyrood MPs have debated a call by the Labour party in Scotland for the Scottish and British governments to use borrowing powers to invest in the N. Sea oil and gas industry.

The motion also called on the minority SNP-led Scot-Govt to take part in discussions with the UK government, industry and trade unions to create a co-investment plan to support jobs in the north east.

Shadow Energy Minister, Tory MSP Alexander Burnett urged MSPs to back “extending – not ending” the life of the North Sea in a Scottish parliamentary debate on the oil and gas industry.

The Aberdeenshire West MSP said the opening of the £200 million Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen could help to achieve the target of recovering 20 billion MER barrels of oil against current projections of just 10 billion.  

And he said that attention should be diverted away from the premature decommissioning of assets, and rejected Labour calls for public investment in ageing North Sea infrastructure. Burnett added:

“Recovery of a further 20 billion barrels against current projections of 10 billion is a target that can be achieved and the extra turnover of $550 billion would be of considerable benefit.

“But it will not be easy and that is why despite the attention on decommissioning we must be talking about extending, not ending the North Sea.

“To put this in some perspective, the total costs predicted to be spent on decommissioning only amount to three good years of investment in North Sea production.

“We need to be looking at extending the life of existing fields, maximising recovery from the identified small pools and encouraging future investment.

“And we do this by backing our industry to continue to innovate and collaborate; to identify subject matter experts and to discourage operators from asset blocking.

“These steps are happening as I highlighted with the OGTC and with the recent transfers of Sullom Voe and Shell’s £2.4 billion deal with Chrysaor.”

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