The leading representative body for the offshore oil and gas industry has today (22 April) launched a manifesto that lays out industry’s key asks to Scottish Parliamentary Candidates and the next Government as the campaign enters its final fortnight ahead of polling day on May 6.
OGUK has urged the next Scottish Parliament and Government to champion the role of oil and gas as a key part of the energy mix and economy, providing reassurance to the 102,000 people whose jobs are supported by the industry right across Scotland.
Central to the manifesto is a call for continued political support for the sector and backing for the recently agreed North Sea Transition Deal to ensure its benefits are delivered right across Scotland.
OGUK External Relations Director Jenny Stanning said:
“It is particularly important in this COP26 year that the revised Scottish Energy Strategy reflects the vital role oil and gas plays in our energy mix and can continue to play in delivering the transition as well as unlocking future opportunities for our supply chain.
“This industry has an important economic role to play across Scotland and the wider UK, supporting jobs and creating exciting energy careers of the future.
“We are a sector that has been driving change – recently signing a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, in partnership with the UK Government, to reposition the UK as a world-leader in sustainability, companies are producing energy from renewable sources and we have committed to helping make net zero by 2050 happen on time.
“However, the political support cannot stop there. We need politicians of all parties to continue to realise and relay the message that the oil and gas sector is a core component to achieving a successful, homegrown, and fair energy transition across the UK.”
The manifesto asks are:
Support the North Sea Transition Deal – We ask for political support for the NSTD, the first deal of its kind by a G7 country that recognises the oil and gas industry is key to achieving UK net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The industry is moving at pace towards a lower carbon future, showing global leadership in supporting the UK to meet its net zero commitment. We want the Scottish Government to work with industry to ensure the benefits of this deal are felt across Scotland.
Share Cabinet responsibility for net zero – We ask that all Cabinet Secretaries take collective responsibility for supporting Scotland’s effort to achieve its net zero targets and drive a fair transition for our energy communities.
Introduce competitive business taxation – We ask for a competitive business rates system to support our members who have offices, warehouses and facilities right across Scotland.
Work with industry to support our skilled workforce – We ask that Government works with industry to ensure that our schools, universities and colleges are geared towards training a skilled workforce now, but also for those highly technical and exciting roles of the future. We also need Government to champion the industry so that the next generation feels confident about choosing an energy career.
Vaccinate our workforce – We ask that if there is additional capacity after frontline health and care staff, the elderly and those deemed vulnerable have been vaccinated then vaccines should also be rolled out to the offshore workforce who are critical to delivering our energy supply.
Improve physical connectivity – We ask for a stronger focus on connectivity between oil and gas hubs in Scotland and overseas, for instance preserving landing slots at Heathrow airport for regional hub flights and regular and efficient rail and road connections between Scotland’s cities.
Improve digital connectivity – We ask for better digital connectivity in Scotland. A report published in 2020 showed that although Aberdeen City is one of the best-connected cities in Scotland, 22,000 premises in Aberdeenshire still cannot access high speed broadband.
Trade support – We ask for continued support as the Trade Vision is implemented for the full range of activities that support decarbonisation overseas to ensure our world class supply chain is supported to export its products and expertise and drive the global effort to reduce emissions.
Regenerated city centres – We ask that our city centres are championed by government. Thriving city centres that drive commercial confidence are essential to encouraging our people to want to live in Scotland and our entrepreneurs and investors to base their businesses here.