Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed an extensive survey of companies in the North Sea oil and gas sector expecting to create up to 39,000 jobs over the next two years.
The survey, commissioned by the Bank of Scotland, found expectations of employment growth had increased since last year. On top of this, 69% of executives in the companies were optimistic about their growth prospects in 2014/2015.
The expected number of new jobs created is 5,000 higher than it was this time last year.
Commenting, Banffshire and Buchan Coast SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “These findings showing that a job boom - even greater than previously expected – is predicted for the oil and gas sector in Scotland and serves as a major vote of confidence for the massive value of Scotland’s vast natural assets.
“The Bank of Scotland survey is also further evidence that businesses know that Scotland has got what it takes to be a successful independent country.
“Successful fiscal management of the vast resources in the North Sea is vital for the best interests of Scotland’s future – and an independent Scotland can succeed where Westminster has failed.
“More than half the value of North Sea oil remains – up to 24 billion barrels with a potential wholesale value of up to £1.5 trillion. We must not let Westminster continue to squander the remainder of this hugely valuable resource and deter further investment; instead we must work with the industry and ensure that oil and gas revenues are used to benefit all of the people of Scotland.
“With less than six months until the independence referendum, and poll after poll showing growth in support for a Yes vote, Scotland has a golden opportunity to steward oil and gas for the benefit of the whole nation - and we must grab that opportunity.”
A spokersperson for the Scottish Government Spokesperson said: “This report is very welcome and clearly demonstrates the huge contribution that the oil and gas sector makes to the economy now and will continue to make in the future. The Bank of Scotland have recognised that with most of the UK’s oil and gas firms clustered in Aberdeen and North East, Scotland should reap the largest share of the 39,000 jobs expected to be created in the next 2 years. This is an increase of 5000 on the estimate made only last year.
“It is also very encouraging to see a strengthening of the international expansion of these companies, and this is a trend which is expected to continue. The presence of the oil and gas industry in Scotland has led to the creation of a sophisticated supply chain to service the offshore industry. There is now a cluster of world class companies headquartered in Scotland with strengths in many areas including project management, subsea, well-management and training services. The presence of this world class cluster means that Scotland is now a major player in the global oil and gas supply chain, with Scottish companies now operating in over 100 countries.
“The skills and knowledge developed in Scotland as a result of the development of the North Sea are a key strength for Scotland. We are committed to working with the oil and gas sector to maintain competitiveness, facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge to other sectors and utilise Scottish based skills in world markets. We have a unique opportunity in Scotland where the expertise gained from half a century of exploitation of oil and gas in the waters around Scotland also gives a particular advantage in the development of offshore renewable technology.”