North Sea oil is ‘winding down’


Published: Saturday 24th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The North Sea oil industry is winding down and politicians and workers must start planning for the future “pretty quickly”, oil veteran and government adviser Sir Ian Wood has warned.

Sir Ian, the founder of the Wood Group who conducted a recent review of offshore oil and gas recovery for the UK Government, said workers in Aberdeen have taken oil for granted but now need to change their thinking.

He has urged the SNP – who he praised as an able Scottish Government – to put their ambitions for Scottish independence “on the back burner for a long, long period of time” and focus on using their “significant additional powers” to make Scotland a better place.

“I had known Aberdeen pre-oil, I won’t know Aberdeen post-oil, I will have gone, but there are generations out there who have always just taken it for granted, and who have become very, very dependent on the oil and gas industry,” he told The Times’ Scottish edition.

“They need to change their thinking. There is a potential way (forward) with the right kind of plan, and the right kind of people, and the right kind of local authority and the right kind of reception from the Scottish and UK governments to work our way through this.

“But we need to get started pretty quickly.

“We have this notion that in some undefined time, say 30 or 40 years, oil will begin to wind down.

“The fact is that it will begin to wind down in the next ten years. The fact is it is winding down now, actually, but very slowly.

“So you need to start taking that on board. But it needs a plan, it needs some resources.”

He said Aberdeen has become a cosmopolitan, enterprising, exciting place to do business but must “stop looking backwards, look forwards, look at the challenges we have and how we are going to deal with them.”

He added: “I kind of hope now, when we have got the macro devolution details sorted out, that the SNP government will say, ‘Well, now we’ve got significant additional powers, let’s go ahead and solve a lot of Scotland’s problems and let’s make Scotland a better place to live in’.

“And let’s put that divisive referendum away on a back burner…for a long, long period of time.”

Published: Saturday 24th January 2015 by The News Editor

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