UK Treasury vows to ‘speed up’ N. Sea loan guarantees

Keith Brown, MSP,
Keith Brown, MSP,

The UK government has vowed to speed up the legislative paperwork for loan guarantees to support investment in offshore infrastructure for the N. Sea oil and gas industry, according to the minority-led SNP Scottish Government.

Scottish Trade & Industry Minister Keith Brown has made repeated calls on the Treasury to honour promises made in last March’s budget to use the UK Guarantees Scheme for oil and gas infrastructure to help secure new investment in assets of strategic importance.

This is seen by the industry as an essential way of securing funding during the ongoing period of low oil and gas prices.

Brown told Holyrood MPs: “I have received assurances from Greg Hands, UK Government’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury that this work will now ‘progress with speed’.

He added: “I am also assured that this will be done with the engagement of key stakeholders, which will include the Oil & Gas Authority and Oil & Gas UK, among others.

“The UK Government must now deliver urgently on this promise. While this remains a difficult time for the industry and its workforce, these assurances from Mr Hands are an important step forward in supporting the oil and gas sector and I will be staying in close touch with the UK government to ensure the promised action happens, and happens quickly.”

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