Energy Voice Written by Erikka Askeland – 28/09/2016 7:03 am
A Scottish trade union called for “urgent government action” to protect jobs in the North Sea in the wake of a report which revealed plummeting investment in the region.
The Oil and Gas UK economic report for 2016 also confirmed that an estimated 120,000 jobs have been shed from the North Sea industry since 2014.
Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said a recent UK Government oil and gas workforce plan “fell short of arresting a decline in the industry”.
He said: “We have repeatedly called for a summit of key industry figures and ministers from the Scottish and UK governments to hammer out an action plan to save the offshore oil and gas industry.”
He said the OGUK report showed the importance of protecting workers from cost-cutting. Mr Rafferty said: “We can’t have a race to the bottom, with companies competing with each other to slash pay and conditions and turn livelihoods upside down. It’s bad for the industry, bad for our members, and bad for the wider UK economy that relies on their income.”
The SNP said the report “exposed serious failings” by the UK Government.
Its energy spokesman Callum McCaig said: “The SNP have long called for serious, sensible measures which make a real difference in incentivising exploration and development of new prospects in the North Sea.
“With these latest figures showing record low activity in exploration, the time for action from the UK Government to boost activity and protect jobs is long overdue.
“At the beginning of 2016 the SNP called for this to be a ‘year of action’ from the Tory government on Scotland’s oil and gas industry. We even made it easy for them – setting out tax incentives and loan guarantee proposals which could have stimulated investment, sustained jobs and maximised recovery of reserves over the long term.
“Let’s bear in mind the North Sea oil and gas sector has generated £300billion for the Treasury and has now been abandoned by the Tories in its time of need.”