Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is today set to shower the oil and gas sector with praise, describing it as a “sunrise industry” in a New Year message.
In what could be an attempt to balance the ‘green’ support which dominated his speeches last year, Scotland’s leader said the Scottish Government and oil and gas firms must work together to help the sector grow in 2013.
Mr Salmond said: “The oil and gas sector is one of Scotland’s biggest success stories and is one of the bedrocks of Scotland’s economy – the sector accounts for more than 90% of total UK oil and gas tax receipts and supporting 440,000 jobs across the UK.”
He hailed the jobs provided by the oil and gas sector, which industry supports around 196,000 jobs in Scotland: “2012 has been an astounding year for oil and gas, with a predicted £11.5 billion of investment and jobs and investment announcements from Shell, Talisman, Dana Petroleum and Global Energy Group among others.”
With his hopes still set on independence from the United Kingdom despite the setback last year when it emerged the nation would have to renegotiate its membership of the EU, Mr Salmond added: “An independent Scotland will be able to face the difficult financial choices ahead from a stronger position than in the UK and use the full range of economic levers to support growth, boost revenues and deliver public services.”