Exploration in the North Sea will be supported by a £5m UK government fund, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has announced during a visit to Aberdeen and Dundee.
The funding will be used by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to survey under-explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf to find potential new deposits.
The announcement came on the same day that the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen said its work with industry on new subsea technologies could help unlock 400 million additional barrels of oil and gas from the North Sea and £3bn of additional value to the industry.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: “The oil and gas industry remains vital for the Scottish economy and the UK as a whole. The £5m funding I am announcing will help exploration to find potential new deposits, and boost prospects for jobs in Aberdeen and the surrounding area. This continues the UK government’s extensive package of tax and funding support for the industry and the wider Scottish economy.
“I’ve seen today how Dundee has benefitted from our life sciences and creative sector funding. I now look forward to progress being made on the Tay Cities Deal, which will follow the £1bn already committed by the UK to Scotland’s City Deals so far.”
UK Energy Minister, Richard Harrington, said: “North Sea oil will continue to fuel growth and jobs across Scotland and the rest of the UK, with an estimated 10-20 billion barrels still remaining.
“I was in Aberdeen last month and saw first-hand the work of the Oil and Gas Authority which we established to be a strong, independent regulator focused on maximising economic recovery.
“The sector continues to have the full support of the UK government, confidence is returning, and today’s announcement recognises there are great opportunities for further exploration.”
Scotland sells four times as much to the rest of the UK as it does to the entire EU, for example, and the UK is currently working to protect the benefits of this market, and provide continuity and certainty as we prepare to leave the EU.
The UK government is also backing plans to establish Aberdeen as a global leader in decommissioning, creating skilled jobs and exporting this advanced knowledge to other countries.