I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Government Departments and agencies, including notably the Department of Energy and Climate Change and its predecessor Departments, have for many years supported research aimed at identifying UK hydrocarbon potential and finding ways of finding and extracting it more cost-effectively. Comprehensive records of the amount spent on such activities by year across Government are not available.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not have detailed information on the annual expenditure of the Scottish Executive.
Estimates of total annual pre-tax expenditure in £ billions by the private sector on finding and developing UK hydrocarbons (oil and gas, in the North sea as well as elsewhere in the UK and on the UK Continental Shelf) for the period 1994–2013 are given in the following table. More detailed information through to 2012 is available online at: