Prime Minister hints at help for N. Sea oil industry on eve of Aberdeen visit

David CameronDavid Mundell, the British Government Minister for Scotland, is to visit Mozambique next month as part of a move to forge a new trading partnership between Aberdeen and the oil town of Pemba.

The city has longstanding links with Mozambique and has been driving forward partnerships between the country and oil and gas companies in the north east of Scotland.

Mundell will formally announce the move during a visit to Aberdeen tomorrow (28 January) when he will meet representatives of the offshore industry and Aberdeen Council.

Mozambique contains huge reserves of offshore natural gas, and is expected to become a major global producer in coming years. Aberdeen Council has been awarded a £120,000 grant from the Foreign Office to help draw up the action plan for the Pemba hub.

The action plan will help boost much-needed growth and investment in Mozambique. It will also open up significant opportunities in consulting, supply chain, logistics and training for British companies, particularly those based in Scotland.

The Aberdeen oil and gas hub model, built on lessons learned from 40 years of North Sea operation, sets the highest standards in governance, transparency, value for money, quality and environmental responsibility.

Mundell commented: “Our oil and gas sector has huge expertise to share. This deal will also bring fantastic opportunities for British companies working in the Scottish oil and gas sector to win new contracts supporting Pemba’s growing offshore industry.”

During his trip to Aberdeen Mr Mundell will visit Bibby Offshore, a subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured, above) will also be visiting Europe’s oil capital tomorrow. 

Speaking in the House of Commons after a Cabinet meeting, he told MPs that he is “determined we build a bridge to the future for all those involved in the North Sea”.

“The oil price decline is the longest in 20 years and nearly the steepest and this causes real difficulties for the North Sea and we can see the effects in the east of England, across Scotland – particularly in Aberdeen – and in other parts of our country too.

“We’re going to help the sector export its world-class expertise. We’re going to help the economies diversify. We’ve announced £1.3 billion of support last year for the North Sea. We’re implementing the Wood review.

“I’ll be going to Aberdeen tomorrow where we’ll be saying more about what we can do to help this vital industry at this vital time.”

Peter Aldous, the Tory MP for Waveney (in Norfolk) earlier told Cameron about jobs fears of workers in the Great Yarmouth oil and gas support sector.

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