Innovation and collaboration welcomed, but SNP also call for new incentives to maximise N. Sea oil exploration

Return To Scene specialise in visual asset management
Return To Scene specialise in visual asset management

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse has highlighted the importance of innovation to maximising economic recovery of North Sea oil and gas while on a virtual visit offshore.

The offshore ‘tour’ was provided by Aberdeen-based Return to Scene, which provides visual management of offshore assets for clients who include BP and Chrysaor.

Bob Donnelly, Managing Director, Return To Scene, also explained how the business is similarly changing the way oil and gas is sharing data – both in the North Sea and in an increasingly diverse global market.

Wheelhouse said: “Scotland is fortunate to have world class skills, and the infrastructure in place to become a world-leader in driving the research and development of innovative technologies such as those being developed by Return to Scene.

“R2S is making a difference to the management of offshore assets, which ultimately supports the competitiveness and longevity of the sector.

“Innovation remains crucial to the oil and gas sector for maximising economic recovery and reducing costs, driving exports and sales within the supply chain, and ultimately securing the long-term sustainability of the North Sea.

Gillian Martin, MSP,
Gillian Martin, MSP,

“This need underpins our investment of £90 million towards the cost of the new £180 million Oil and Gas Technology Centre, the £10 million of dedicated funding support for oil and gas R&D during the downturn and, more generally, a 70% increase in funding for innovation and R&D by businesses to be delivered by Scottish Enterprise over the next three years.”

Meanwhile, the SNP has criticised the ‘snail’s pace’ at which the UK Treasury has moved in delivering tax changes for the industry – with long overdue change at last coming, three years since the beginning of the downturn.

While the SNP welcomed last week’s Budget statement on transferable tax credits for mature fields, Aberdeen MSP Gillian Martin has meanwhile urged the UK government to go much further to stimulate fresh investment and exploration.

She called for the Brit-Govt to implement the following initiatives: 

  • More incentives for new exploration and development in the North Sea
  • Loan guarantees for critical infrastructure – as promised in the 2016 budget
  • Future-proof energy jobs by exploring new incentives for firms to diversify into renewables
  • Action to unlock “small pool” accumulations through technology and cost reduction, and:
  • Investment to ensure Scottish ports are best placed to win decommissioning contracts.

27 Nov 2017


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