N. Sea oil and gas industry shrugs off British Independence from EU-bloc

British Independence Referendum EU and UK flagsThe oil and gas industry has shrugged off the results of the UK referendum in favour of British Independence from the EU-bloc.

A spokesman for the Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas UK trade association said: “We respect the democratic decision of the British people and we are ready to move forward.

“Throughout the referendum campaign, Oil & Gas UK maintained its political neutrality – we are a trade association with a broad range of members who will undoubtedly have their own views on EU membership.

“We hope that all those involved will now come together and work constructively to make this transition as smooth as possible and we ask that the UK Government clearly outlines the process which will follow to minimise any potential period of uncertainty.

“The UK oil and gas industry is at a critical juncture and we need to ensure the UK Continental Shelf continues to attract investment and be seen as a great place to do business.

“We will be consulting closely with our members in the coming weeks and look forward to engaging with all governments to play our part in this process.”

In an interesting comparison with Scotland’s Independence reference in 2014, major UK and other oil companies did not make the same threats to ‘relocate to Brussels if Britain voted for Independence‘ in the same way that some energy companies (and ‘Scottish’ banks) threatened to relocate to London if Scotland voted for Independence.

Shell logoA spokesman for Shell said: “Although Shell was in favour of the UK remaining in the EU, we respect the decision of the majority of the British people who voted to elect to leave.

“We will work with the UK government and European institutions on any implications for us. Our priority is to continue providing reliable, affordable energy to our customers in Europe and the UK.”

At Airswift, a recruitment agency in the global energy, infrastructure and process industries, Peter Searle, Chief Executive, said: The poll we conducted prior to the vote revealed that only 32% of energy sector workers would have voted to remain.

“That said, this result could create uncertainty for North Sea operators, particularly around the need to source talent for projects in and around the EU.

“However, leaving the EU could ultimately signal a more prosperous future for the UK North Sea.

“Norway, a key player in the energy industry, already exists successfully outside of the EU and now it’s the UK’s time to carve out its own future.

At management consultants Ernst & Young, Jon Clark, Oil & Gas Transactions Leader, commented: “While the industry will have to adjust to a new reality, it is the future levels of commodity and oil prices that top the sector’s worry list, not Brexit.

“The majority of UK oil and gas firms already operate not just within the EU but on a global level. The impact on the sector as a result from the UK leaving the EU, will not become visible overnight and will primarily stem from the regulatory side.

“The industry has so far been following European wide regulation on health and safety and recruitment issues, which will now have to be reviewed.”


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