Scotland’s energy minister, Jim Mather, will warn today of the dangers of short-sighted decision-making in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
He says it is vital any action taken now in light of the economic slump does not harm the long-term prospects for the basin.
Delivering the opening address at the 2009 Devex European production and development conference in Aberdeen, Mr Mather will also highlight the difficult times the North Sea sector is facing just now, given the drop in oil prices from last year and current credit conditions.
In addition, he will acknowledge industry concerns and tell delegates he is aware of the pressure for a reassessment of priorities in the short term.
The industry is used to having to deal with change, however, the minister will say, and it is crucial that decisions made now do not adversely affect future opportunities. Mr Mather will also spell out the key role of oil and gas in Scotland’s economy, both now and in the future.
He will also outline the Scottish Government’s commitment to “cleaner generation” and renewables in any future energy mix.
He will also highlight “huge opportunities” Scotland has for developing clean coal and gas technologies, which will soon be seen as an environmental necessity.
He will also point to the global role Scotland can play in the development of cleaner energy as a result of leading academic and commercial expertise allied with “tremendous strengths” in innovation and engineering.
More than 300 international oil and gas industry professionals are expected to attend the two-day Devex event at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
The 2009 conference, the sixth in the annual series, is organised jointly by the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society and the Aberdeen section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.