Scotland's offshore resources still contain substantial potential according to a report that makes good reading for Moray according to the region's MSP.
Richard Lochhead has welcomed the publication this week of a report from Aberdeen University that looks at the prospects for activity in the UK Continental Shelf following recent tax changes.
The report, written by Professor Alex Kemp and Linda Stephen, contains a number of recommendations aimed at maximising the long-term benefits of Scotland's oil resources, highlighting the substantial investment that is currently being made.
Mr Lochhead said the report makes good reading for Moray as home to many workers employed in the offshore industry and making a major contribution to the local economy.
The MSP added that Moray also has significant offshore supply chain business with companies such as Scotland Electronics International Ltd., Forsyth's, QHS Scotland Ltd. and many others throughout the region.
According to the latest Scottish Government estimates the remaining North Sea reserves represent around £1.5trillion in wholesale value, far higher than the value that has been extracted to date.
Mr Lochhead said: "This welcome report is the latest in a series of analyses which underline the strength of Scotland's offshore oil and gas industry for many decades to come.
"The impact of the oil and gas sector on Moray should not be underestimated. We have thousands of people in Moray who either work offshore themselves or who work for businesses in the supply chain.
"That brings substantial income into our region and, in turn, supports house building, local trades, suppliers, garages and retail and leisure sectors."
Highlighting the importance to Moray's economic strategy that a large number of workers don't necessarily work in Moray but make a significant contribution to the area, Mr Lochhead added: "We need to be working hard to continue attracting people in the offshore sector to make Moray their home.
"Just last week, oil firm TAQA announced the purchase of $1billion worth of assets from BP - underlining their confidence in the North Sea's future - which itself came on the back of a Scottish Enterprise report anticipating that 86 new North Sea oil and gas fields will begin development by 2016, with investment of £44billion.
"Westminster governments and anti-independence parties have been saying that the oil and gas is running out since the early years of production in the 1970s - and the reality now is that more than half of the revenues are still to come."
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