The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) yesterday revised its revenue forecast upwards due to higher oil prices, increased production and lower costs – putting forecasted revenues £400 million higher in every year from now until 2023, averaging around £1 billion a year for the next five years.
The upgraded forecasts were contained in the small print of Brit-Govt finance minister Phil Hammond’s Spring budget statement.
But the SNP said an improving economic outlook for the North Sea oil and gas industry – 90% of which is in Scottish territorial water – cannot result in the British Treasury resuming its ‘cash grab’ of North Sea revenues.
They figures also revealed the need for continued investment in the oil and gas industry as it continues to recover from the recent downturn – with the SNP renewing demands for the money to be reinvested in Scotland’s energy sector.
After slumping from more than $110-barrel in 2014 to just over $30-barrel in 2017, N. Sea crude oil prices have bobbed around $60-barrel this year – which was BP’s forecast three years ago.
Gillian Martin, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East, said: “The improved picture for the North Sea oil and gas industry announced by the OBR yesterday shows the continued strength of this sector and its importance for Scotland’s economy – producing £1 billion of revenue every year until 2023.
“However, we have been consistently clear that we won’t accept the Tories resuming their cash grab of North Sea revenues, never to be seen by Scotland again – this practice by successive Westminster government’s has seen the long-term health of the sector neglected while filling the Treasury’s coffers for decades.
“We need continued and sustained investment in Scotland’s energy industry to ensure that any future downturn doesn’t have the same devastating impact on jobs and living standards in the North East and Northern Isles.
“All revenues must come back to Scotland, allowing us to rebuild and reinvest across our energy industries, including in the renewables sector that the Tories have done every they can to harm since 2010.
“Better still, the UK government could devolve full control over the oil and gas industry, including revenues, to Scotland – and allow the Scottish Government to take the action needed to maximise jobs and return from our energy sector.”
- Meanwhile, M² Subsea has appointed Andrew Imrie as global sales and marketing director at its Aberdeen depot. With more than 20 years in the global oil and gas industry, he previously worked at Proserv, Amec, GE Oil & Gas and National Oilwell Varco.
Aberdeen-Houston Business Gateway event
Granite PR, which marks a decade in business this year, will host the sixth annual Aberdeen-Houston Gateway this month on 21 March 2018. This year’s speakers will include:
- Ewen Cameron – Head Trade & Investment (Energy) Scottish Development International
- Jeffrey Blair – International Director, Greater Houston Partnership
- Lorna Ramsay – President, Houston Grampian Association
- Frank Landreneau – Chief Financial Officer, PKF Texas
- Andrew Derry – Principal, British International School of Houston
- Simon Mills – Head of College, Robert Gordon’s College
For more information: tel 01651 891374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
15 Mar 2018