Energy secretary Edward Davey today described the health of the North Sea as “crucial to Britain’s power and economic needs for decades to come”.
Speaking ahead of a gathering of about 40 MPs sitting in key areas of the UK for the oil industry, Mr Davey said the North Sea was experiencing a renaissance and that its pioneering spirit was needed to power the country and drive prosperity.
Tonight’s event in Westminster will hear how changes in the tax regime for oil and gas producers, designed to promote investment in the North Sea, are already resulting in billions of pounds of work for British firms and the creation of thousands of new high skilled jobs.
The event, the British Offshore Oil and Gas Industry All Party Parliamentary Group’s annual reception, is being hosted by Mr Davey and industry body Oil and Gas UK’s chief executive Malcolm Webb.
Mr Davey, said: “The health of the oil and gas industry is crucial to Britain’s power and economic needs and will be fundamental to our energy policy for decades to come.
“A recording breaking offshore licensing round and investment highs, the North Sea is experiencing a recent renaissance.
“We are working in partnership with the oil and gas industry to create a positive investment environment and a bright future for the North Sea, securing thousands of jobs across the UK.
“The spirit of the North Sea pioneers will be needed to drive this government’s ambition to power the country, provide prosperity, and protect the planet for future generations.”
Mr Webb is due to tell the gathering that Oil and Gas UK welcomed the coalition government’s new long-term approach to the UK oil and gas industry.
“Capital investment last year soared to well over £11 billion. With improvements to the tax regime as a result of better engagement with the Treasury, no less than 30 new offshore oil and gas developments were approved in the last 12 months,” he will say.
“Furthermore, 167 new licences to explore for petroleum in UK offshore waters were awarded in the latest licensing round.
“This upturn is set to continue and presents excellent business opportunities right across our world-class supply chain to the benefit of the UK’s energy security, balance of trade and tax revenues.
“Most importantly at this time however, it has, as predicted, resulted in thousands of new and well paid jobs.
“There is no other industry in Britain today creating more jobs than the UK oil and gas industry and this is something we should feel very proud about.
“In the last six months alone, over £8 billion of new investment and many thousands of new jobs have been announced in projects across the UK continental shelf and we know there are currently more in the pipeline for approval.
“With up to 24 billion barrels of oil and gas still to be extracted, this industry is set to provide energy, jobs and tax revenues to people across the UK for many decades to come.”