Unite General Secretary Calls on Governments to Protect UK Oil Industry

Unite General Secretary Calls on Governments to Protect UK Oil Industry
Unite's General Secretary has called on governments in London and Edinburgh to do more to protect the UK's oil industry, according to the BBC.

Unite’s General Secretary has called on governments in London and Edinburgh to do more to protect the UK’s oil industry, according to the BBC.

Len McCluskey told BBC Scotland that greater support was needed for the oil sector following the collapse in the oil price.

"Contrary to what people might say, there are billions and billions of tons of oil still in the North Sea,” the BBC quotes McCluskey as saying.

"It is huge, huge asset and we've got to make certain that both the Scottish government and the Westminster government intervene, in the way that they did with the banks, to assist this vital sector,” McCluskey added.

Following McCluskey’s calls, a spokesperson for the UK government's department of business, energy and industrial strategy was quick to defend the leadership’s contribution to oil and gas, the BBC reported.

"UK oil and gas remains an important part of our energy mix. We've already provided extensive assistance through a $2.7 billion (GBP 2.3 billion) package of support, and committed $48 million (GBP 40 million) to new seismic studies to help uncover more opportunities and strengthen the North Sea's appeal to international investors as a global centre of excellence,” the BBC quoted the spokesperson as saying.

In November last year, the Scottish National Party renewed calls for the UK government to help the North Sea oil and gas industry, following the release of a PwC report which described the last two years as being a torrid time for the sector.

“Tory government ignorance of the needs of the North Sea industry is laid bare in this report,” SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East, Gillian Martin, said in a statement sent to Rigzone at the time.

“It makes clear that the oil and gas sector has the potential to develop, but only if the UK government provides the right support, which they have failed to do for decades. PwC has said that there is more than just the fall in the oil price to consider when looking at the industry’s future and it is clear that the UK government’s decades of mismanagement has left the oil and gas sector in this situation where it risks a rapid and premature decline if action is not taken,” she added.

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