The Scottish Government has been accused of “actively disowning” the North Sea oil industry after it emerged ministers have no plans to publish further oil and gas bulletins.
Labour criticised the move, which was confirmed by Ed Humpherson, director general for regulation at the Office for Statistics Regulation.
Ministers dismissed it as a “ridiculous attack from Labour”, accusing their rivals of attempting to “score cheap political points”.
The row erupted after Mr Humpherson wrote to Labour energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald, telling him the “Scottish Government has now confirmed to me that no oil and gas analytical bulletin is scheduled for publication”.
Such reports had previously been published in 2013 and 2014, in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum, and then in 2015, Labour said.
Mr Macdonald said: “Since the oil price collapse, we have only had one bulletin – as long ago as 2015. That is simply a disgrace.
“With thousands of jobs lost and the industry still in recovery, we need as much information as possible on the state of the North Sea.
“Instead, nationalist ministers have decided to bury their heads in the sand in an attempt to avoid a political humiliation.
“The SNP should reverse this decision and start helping the oil and gas industry rather than treating it as a political inconvenience.
In his letter, Mr Humperson also stated: “Since the last publication of the oil and gas analytical bulletin in 2015, Scottish Government has developed new statistics about the oil and gas sector in Scotland.
“Their chief statistician publishes regular publications providing detailed information on the oil and gas sector.”
A spokesman for energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “This is a ridiculous attack from Labour, who as ever just want to talk down Scotland’s oil and gas industry in a bid to score cheap political points.
“In terms of backing the sector, we are doing everything in our power to support it but it is the Tory government at Westminster who retain most of the key policy levers when it comes to protecting jobs and investment.
“While there is no bulletin scheduled for publication at present, the requirement for any analytical bulletins is kept under review and there is already a wealth of other published information on the industry.”