Scotland’s biggest union has called for governments at Westminster and Holyrood to invest in new infrastructure to help take advantage of untapped offshore oil and gas.
Today (Wednesday 19 October), the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) published research on the potential of small pools of oil and gas in UK waters.
It estimated that there was an equivalent of more than three billion barrels of oil untapped underneath the UK continental shelf, and described it as a ‘very significant opportunity’.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Scotland’s oil and gas industry is going through a crisis. The number of jobs lost as a result of the downturn in the UK oil and gas sector could be above 120,000 by the end of 2016.
“But today’s research shows that there is potential for a new lease of life for the offshore industry in Scotland. Companies should be encouraged to use their existing rigs and pipelines to recover pools wherever that’s possible.
“However a number of these small pools lie further away and will need new stand-alone solutions. Our governments could use their borrowing powers to take out public stakes in new offshore infrastructure. That would encourage companies to also invest, would support jobs, and would create returns for the public purse as the oil and gas from these pools begins to flow.
“Today we are repeating our call for an urgent summit, bringing together the UK and Scottish Governments, the trade unions and industry, to look at this idea and create a strategy for the future.”
Notes to editors
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631.
More information about the Oil & Gas Authority report can be found on their website here.
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.