North-east praised for resolve in standing by oil and gas industry
The UK Government’s new energy minister Richard Harrington made the comments yesterday during his first visit since taking up the post in June.
The Conservative MP for Watford said Aberdeenshire should be proud of finding a way through the oil and gas downturn and not succumbing to economic pressures that wiped out other industries across the UK like shipbuilding and steel making.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Energy, who was appointed under Prime Minister Theresa May following the snap General Election, admitted that the industry and the wider north-east had been through tough times.
But he was buoyed by the determination of those intent on making the most of the remaining oil and gas reserves.
Mr Harrington said: “I think the way that this city has taken the battering that it has, with the jobs that it has lost and the way it is reforming itself, is very impressive.
“Not by quitting an industry like has happened so traditionally with steel in Sheffield and ship-building in Glasgow .
“But by saying the oil and gas industry is still here and we are going to redevelop it in a different way.
“There’s a positive way forward which everyone seems to bind to.”
The minister made the comments following the latest Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) Forum to discuss on-going strategic efforts in squeezing every last hydrocarbon out of the region.
The group was set up to bring together government, industry and the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to deliver a programme of work for the UK continental shelf.
It was a day of revelations for Mr Harrington, the former DWP minister.