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Around 93,600 jobs are supported by the oil and gas industry in Scotland – Full Fact

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What would be good is if the SNP realised that they should support the 200,000 people employed in Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas industry.

At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that there are “200,000 people employed in Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas industry”. 

However, this figure appears to refer to the number of jobs supported by the oil and gas sector across the entirety of the UK, not just in Scotland, according to trade association Offshore Energies UK. It says the industry provides 90,000 jobs in Scotland itself. 

In its most recent Economic Report, published in September 2023, Offshore Energies UK says the domestic oil and gas industry “supported around 220,000 jobs in the UK” in 2022, with around 133,000 of these “direct and indirect jobs in oil and gas companies and the supply chain”.

An additional 86,000 jobs in the wider economy, such as hospitality and hotels, are “only viable because of the benefits of the oil and gas sector”, the report states.

In 2022, around 93,600 jobs in Scotland were supported by oil and gas production, with 5,300 in Wales and 117,500 in England. While there’s no mention of jobs in Northern Ireland within its 2023 Economic Report, Offshore Energies UK forecast that the industry would support around 1,700 indirect or induced jobs in Northern Ireland last year.

The UK government has recently used the 200,000 figure to refer to the overall number of jobs supported by the “combined oil and gas industry” across the UK. 

We’ve asked Downing Street about the source of Mr Sunak’s figures and will update this article if we receive a response.

Ministers should correct false or misleading claims made in Parliament as soon as possible in keeping with the Ministerial Code, which states that they should correct ‘any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity’.

Image courtesy of Number 10.

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