OGUK Warns Scotland On Tech Exports Plan
Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) has urged the Scottish government to reconsider its plan to pull the plug on support for oilfield technology and services exports, warning of the impact the policy will have on the industry, already reeling from low oil and gas prices.
The Scottish government pledged in its Vision for Trade document on January 26 to end "overseas trade support and promotion activities solely focused on fossil fuel goods and services" before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Glasgow in November.
OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie said the group was seeking an urgent meeting with Scottish ministers to "highlight the effect this policy may have on members, particularly our small-to-medium-sized members, who are still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the downturn with its volatile commodity prices."
"We welcome the Scottish government’s offer of consultation, as it’s important that any such policy shift is implemented thoughtfully, in partnership with industry and with appropriate preparation time so that those companies ideally placed to support the energy transition are not undermined," she continued. “In order to ensure our shared Net-Zero objectives become a reality, we will need to deliver a fair and managed transition at pace; one which deals with the realities of a competitive market while at the same time offering exciting new prospects for the future of our industry."
The Scottish government noted that exceptions to the ending of support would be made "where it is clear that the work is essential for a fair and just energy transition, such as decommissioning."
Scotland is targeting net-zero emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the rest of the UK. It plans to reach that goal through the use of hydrogen, carbon, capture and storage (CCS) and carbon offsetting technologies. CCS is an industry that will rely heavily on offshore know-how, an area where the UK might export to world markets. There is a project off St Fergus in Scotland that is awaiting a final investment decision.