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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14636: Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 13 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to forecasts from Opec, which reportedly state that global demand for oil will rise more rapidly than expected in 2018, and what impact this may have on Scotland’s oil and gas exports.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 13 March 2018

The Scottish Government monitors domestic and international energy research and reports and considers the potential implications for Scottish energy sectors and policies.

OPEC’s February Oil Market Report highlighted that the OPEC Reference Basket of crude oil prices increased for the fifth straight month in January to their highest monthly average since November 2014. On the back of a strengthening world economy, OPEC also increased their estimates of the growth in global oil demand to 1.59 million barrels per day, while also revising up their estimates of the growth in world oil supply.

The Scottish Government published an experimental statistics development paper on the 22 February 2018 which contains provisional estimates for exports of oil and gas from Scottish waters for 2015 and 2016. It shows that at a time of increasing production, the value of exports has decreased in recent years due to the lower oil and gas prices experienced since 2014. Changes to the oil price as a result of market fundamentals, such as global oil demand and supply, would therefore feed through to changes in the value of offshore exports.

The Scottish Government will continue to support the sector and its workforce as much as it can within its devolved powers, while continuing to call upon the UK Government to provide the support it requires at this critical time in its recovery, particularly while exploration activity remains near record lows.