Page last updated at 17:33 GMT, Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Oil and gas debate 1

Labour raised doubts about the SNP's plans for a Norwegian style oil fund in an independent Scotland during a debate on oil and gas on 9 January 2013.

Highland MSP Rhoda Grant said that a new tax might have to be levied on the industry leading to different levels of tax north and south of the border.

She called for clarity to allow companies to plan in the run up to the independence referendum in 2014.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing had opened the debate saying the key message from the Oil and Gas strategy was "there is much, much more to come".

Mr Ewing said: "The strategy is aptly titled "Maximising our future".

"It is focused on how we can maximise the value of those remaining reserves - to create skilled jobs and prosperity for people throughout Scotland.

"The North Sea Oil and Gas industry supports 440,000 jobs across the UK - 200,000 in Scotland alone.

"It is a major source of tax revenue for the UK Exchequer, providing over £300 Billion in revenues over the years."

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott highlighted that offshore installations have been part of the North Sea for the best part of three or four decades and underlined the constant need to attend to "the needs of the fabrics of oil rigs and every piece of kit out there".

Scottish Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie commended the Scottish government's "clear focus on its renewables energy targets" but said renewables only cut carbon emissions if they replaced fossil fuels.

Mr Harvie said it was essential to reduce demand for high carbon industries rather than pursuing "an oil and gas strategy focused on squeezing out every last drop from the North Sea".

Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon accused ministers of "misinformation", saying the government's estimate of remaining oil and gas revenue had risen from "over one trillion" pounds to "one point five trillion" without a rise in the value of crude oil.

The second part of the debate can be viewed below:

Oil and gas debate 2


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