Press release

David Mundell: Global ambitions for Scottish oil and gas

The Secretary of State for Scotland will today travel to Texas to build links with the US oil industry to help support the UK’s oil and gas sector.

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He will meet key industry figures in Houston and Dallas. The centres of the USA’s oil and gas sector, the cities’ economies remain strong despite the challenges of a low international oil price.

In the USA, Mr Mundell will meet with senior figures from a number of key businesses, including Maersk, BP and the Weir Group. He will press the case for investing in Scotland, and to find paths for Scottish companies to export their expertise in the industry.

Mr Mundell said:

As we have seen recently with job losses and now a negative tax balance, the Scottish oil and gas sector faces real challenges. The UK Government is determined to do everything it can to support the industry, and the many jobs which depend on it.

My visit to the United States is part of that strategy. I will be meeting oil companies in the Texas oil and gas capitals of Dallas and Houston, to encourage on-going investment into the North Sea. The North East of Scotland also has a huge amount of expertise which can be exported around the world, and the US should be a part of its market. There are wider lessons for the North East of Scotland to learn from the American oil and gas industry, and from cities like Dallas and Houston. They have successfully diversified their economies, and I will be hearing from officials in those cities about the lessons they have learned and how we could apply them in Scotland.

The UK Government has an extensive network of influence overseas, not just in America but around the world. This is a tremendous asset and I am determined that Scotland should get the full benefit of Britain’s embassies and high commissions, as they bang the drum for the oil and gas industry on the global stage. That is one of the ways we can help build a bridge to the future for Aberdeen and the North East.

A key part of the UK Government’s strategy to support the UK’s oil and gas sector is to support diversification into overseas markets, and to encourage further investment into North Sea oil and gas - the North East of Scotland is very much still open for business.

Mr Mundell added:

The UK Government has taken unprecedented action to support Aberdeen and the North East following the fall in the oil price. That included a package of tax measures worth £2.3 billion and a £250 million City Deal for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. It is only because of the broad shoulders of the wider UK economy that we are able to provide this support to our oil and gas industry, and to the thousands of workers and families it supports, at this very difficult time.

The UK Government’s support for the oil and gas sector includes a significant package of tax measures, worth £2.3 billion, to ensure the UK remains an attractive destination for investment. To support Aberdeen directly the UK Government has agreed with the Scottish Government and local authorities a £250 million City Deal for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

As part of the drive to create the skills that Scotland’s oil and gas sector will need to grow in the future, the Secretary of State will also help build educational links between Scotland and the USA with a visit to the Dallas Community College District.

Mr Mundell’s visit to the USA will build on a visit to Dallas last month by the UK Oil and Gas Authority. Part of Mr Mundell’s visit is to reinforce the role of the UK Oil and Gas Authority as a facilitator of new business opportunities as well as a regulator.

The visit follows on from on his visit to Mozambique earlier this year, where he helped broker an oil and gas deal between Aberdeen and the Mozambique town of Pemba.

Notes for Editors:

  1. For further information contact the Scotland Office press office on 0131 244 9028.
  2. Read the details of the Aberdeen – Mozambique oil deal.
Published 1 June 2016