It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Walker. I congratulate the Scottish Affairs Committee on producing this informative report and on securing the debate.
The oil and gas industry is extremely important in the north-east of Scotland, but it also has other clusters, although not quite as large, in the north-east of England and East Anglia, which I represent. I chair the British offshore oil and gas industry all-party parliamentary group. It is important to remember that the industry is a national one and that it has a supply chain that extends throughout the whole of the UK.
The industry has been, I would say, the British industrial success story of the past 55 years. The results of extracting hydrocarbons on the UK continental shelf have been the creation of thousands of well-paid good jobs, the generation of an enormous amount of money for Her Majesty’s Treasury, and the development of expertise that can be taken, and has been taken, all around the world. Go to Libya, the gulf of Mexico, Kazakhstan or China, and one hears Scottish, Geordie and East Anglian accents.