Following yesterday’s shock announcement of 600 jobs losses by BP in their North Sea operations, an SNP MP for Aberdeen last night called for crisis talks with the UK Govt.
Callum McCaig – who is also the SNP Energy Spokesman in the House of Commons – has today written to Amber Rudd, Energy Minister, challenging the Government to mitigate job losses, and is pressing for swift changes to taxation of the sector to encourage exploration.
The Aberdeen South MP spoke out hours after news broke that BP will cut around 20% of their North Sea workforce by the end of next year.
Scottish Energy News 12 Jan 2016
He said: “For months my SNP colleagues and I have been pressing the UK Government to do more to support the oil and gas industry. BP’s announcement must serve as a wake up call and ensure that action is taken to protect jobs and secure investment.
“The North Sea is a basin with more than enough potential left in it for generations of activity, but the Government is not making investment in the region as attractive a prospect as it needs to be in what is a highly competitive international market.”
BP cited “toughening market conditions” and “well-documented challenges of operating” in the North Sea as reasons for reductions in headcount going forward.
McCaig added: “It is of some relief that BP have reiterated their commitment to stay in the North Sea and invest $2 billion of capital in future projects there, but it is a shame we have had no solid plan from the Government to encourage new exploration and drilling projects through tax reliefs. Without future projects there cannot be future jobs; it is that simple.
“I will be seeking to meet with Amber Rudd as soon as possible to discuss with her what the Government is doing, if anything, to mitigate further job losses in the oil and gas sector and give the industry the urgent boost in support it so clearly needs and deserves.”