Yesterday’s figures on oil and gas, for the first time in a long time, gave the sector some positive news.
After the years they’ve endured, workers and companies won’t be rejoicing just yet.
But the first increase in production since the turn of the Millennium is welcome.
The Scottish Conservatives took great care to listen to the oil and gas sector in Aberdeen as the price began to crash towards the end of 2014.
They told us tax breaks from the UK Government were absolutely essential if the industry was to be supported in a severe time of need.
We lobbied then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, hard on this matter, and he announced early in 2015 that petroleum revenue tax would be cut from 50 per cent to 35 per cent, while oil’s supplementary tax would go down from 30 per cent to 20 per cent.
It’s always difficult to assess the impact of these changes immediately after they are made, so yesterday’s bulletin from the Scottish Government was the first real test of that.
It showed production rose from 57.7 million tonnes in 2014/15, to 70 million tonnes in 2015/16, a clear indication that these measures were having a positive impact.
Of course, we are still very early on in what is hoped to be a recovery.
A low price globally resulted in sales of oil being their lowest on record, so challenges do still lie ahead.
And while many people want to move on from how North Sea oil would or wouldn’t have supported an independent Scotland, it is worth reflecting on the role of the wider UK here.
Not only did its broad shoulders allow us to maintain public services as tax receipts plummeted, but it also provided a government which was able to act quickly to give the industry the help it needed.
What is now required is for the UK and Scottish governments to work with the oil and gas authorities to support the industry to drive through efficiencies to ensure that production can continue
No-one is saying it will all be plain sailing for the oil industry in the UK now, and there are still far too many out of work because of the slump.
But the industry does have a future, and we all need to commit to supporting it.
Murdo Fraser is the Scottish Conservative finance spokesman