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Oil giants and SME’s must work together to extract North Sea potential

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Scottish Secretary addresses a major Oil and Gas event in Aberdeen.

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The UK Government is committed to supporting the entire Oil and Gas supply chain from extending financial support to small and medium enterprises (SME’s) through to making the case in the European Union (EU), the Secretary of State for Scotland has said at a major event in Aberdeen.

Speaking at the “Access to Finance for the Oil and Gas Supply Chain” event, Michael Moore has highlighted the way the UK Government is working with industry to ensure the sector achieves its full potential over the coming decades as it approaches unprecedented challenges

This week Energy Secretary Edward Davey announced an independent review into Oil & Gas production would be led by Sir Ian Wood. The review together with the Oil and Gas Strategy – recently launched in Aberdeen - are key elements in Government and industry working together.

The Secretary of State has also highlighted the importance of combining the experience of industry with the UK’s clout in Europe. The recent directive on offshore oil and gas safety agreed by EU Ministers, ensures minimal cost and disruption to the world leading health and safety standards in place within the sector

The Secretary of State said:

“Here in the UK we have a long experience of successfully regulating offshore oil and gas activity and the UK Government lobbied to make sure the Commission’s original proposals for a regulation were revised into the directive agreed on Monday. The directive, now agreed largely reflects the current UK system and is a real success story for all of us, especially for those who work in this industry.”

Extracts from Michael Moore’s speech at Oil and Gas Access to Finance event - 13 June 2013

“I had the privilege of launching the Oil and Gas Strategy along with Vince Cable and Ed Davey earlier this year here in Aberdeen.

“This is a strategy that demonstrates our long-term commitment to the oil and gas industry here in Scotland and across the UK.

“All of us here today understand the importance of the oil and gas sector to the Scottish and wider UK economy. We also understand that this is an industry that needs investment to continue to develop, support and grow. But there remains a significant minority of viable businesses – particularly smaller ones, or first-time applicants – who face real challenges in accessing external finance.

“And where the market fails them, we in Government are stepping in to help ensure that their needs are met with schemes such as Funding for Lending, Enterprise Finance Guarantee and the Government backed Business Bank . All of these Government schemes are designed to achieve our ambition of making the UK the best place in the world to start, finance and grow a small business.

“We are also ensuring that the economic benefits of offshore oil and gas production are maximised in the future by undertaking an independently-led review.

“As announced by Ed Davey on Monday Sir Ian Wood will work with industry leaders and Government to make recommendations to support future economic recovery of the oil and gas industry.

“This will be a wholesale review of an industry of vital national economic importance, supporting 440,000 jobs.

“Sir Ian is a highly respected figure in the industry and his leadership will bring real firepower to this review – the first in more than 20 years. The interim conclusions from the review will be published in the autumn and the final report and recommendations will be out in early 2014.”

Published 13 June 2013