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First Minister meets oil and gas industry leaders

Published:  21 September, 2016

Scotland’s First Minister recently heard at first hand the steps the UK oil and gas industry is taking to navigate its way through the downturn.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP met with senior industry leaders of Oil & Gas UK’s board at the trade body’s Aberdeen offices on the 19th September.

The First Minister said: “I was delighted to meet with the Board of Oil & Gas UK today, which continues our close engagement with the industry to overcome the challenges it currently faces.

“While last week’s Oil and Gas Production statistics demonstrate that the industry is adapting to the current period of low prices, I am under no illusions about the significant challenges that remain. We must be ready to capitalise when the upturn comes, and it is encouraging that companies like Statoil are continuing to invest in the North Sea.

“We are doing all we can to support the industry, and I am pleased to say that Scottish Government is delivering on the support announced earlier this year, with over 600 people having their applications for support approved through our 3-year Transition Training Fund, and separately, we’ve committed £1.1 million to projects to boost business resilience. I’m also pleased to confirm that around 70 innovation projects with a total project value of around £16 million have benefited from £7 million of Scottish Government support to help firms reduce the risks associated with research and development.”

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, added: “We appreciated the First Minister taking time to come and speak with us in Aberdeen. We were able to give her an update on the performance of the UK offshore industry and an overview of what industry is doing to manage its way through one of the toughest times it has ever had to deal with.

“Industry has worked hard to significantly improve efficiency and lower its costs and we gave some examples as to what has been achieved under the leadership of the industry-led Efficiency Task Force.

“Our sector has had good support from the Scottish and UK Governments and we sincerely hope that this will continue in the coming months.”

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