Largest North Sea production increase in 15 years

Supporting industry sustainability remains top priority.

The oil and gas industry in Scotland is adapting to the sustained period of low prices, with production up more than a fifth in the latest year.

The Scottish Government’s 2015-16 Oil & Gas Production Statistics show that Scottish production increased by 21.4% compared to 2014-15 levels. This is the largest annual increase recorded in the statistics, which begin in 1999.

While the total sales value was estimated at £13.4 billion, the value of sales has decreased due to the low price – illustrating the challenges the sector faces.

Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown said:

“Although this remains a difficult time for the industry and its workforce, it is encouraging to note this increase in production as the industry adapts to the current period of low prices. Capital investment on oil and gas fields in Scottish waters was £10.2 billion and the approximate sales value of oil and gas produced in Scotland is estimated to be £13.4 billion.

“The UK Government retains control of the main economic and tax levers affecting the North Sea oil industry, though the Scottish Government continues to do all that it can to support the industry, including setting up the Energy Jobs Taskforce that meets today for the 11th time in Aberdeen.

“Our support also includes £24.5 million for increased innovation and business-support measures and the £12 million Transition Training Fund, which offers grants to individuals to support their redeployment through retraining or further education. We will also maintain pressure on the Treasury to honour promises made in last March’s budget to use the UK Guarantees Scheme for oil and gas infrastructure to help secure new investment in assets of strategic importance.

“The Scottish Government strongly believes that the North Sea oil and gas sector can have a bright future for years to come. This, however, will continue to require a concerted effort from all stakeholders.”

Chair of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, Dr Lena Wilson, said:

“The Energy Jobs Taskforce continues to offer significant support to companies and individuals in the oil and gas sector. It's clear that operators and the supply chain have recognised the importance of stronger collaboration, better and more efficient ways of working and seeking opportunities overseas to capitalise on our world-leading skills and experience.

"Our support has reached around 700 companies to date in areas such as business resilience, leadership and innovation and we remain committed to supporting the sector to ensure it remains a key global oil and gas hub for years to come.”

Notes to editors

Key statistics include:

• Scottish production increased by 21.4% compared to 2014-15
• The approximate sales value of oil and gas produced in Scotland is estimated to be £13.4 billion, though this has fallen by 23.5% on the previous year due to sustained low prices
• Operating expenditure on oil and gas production in Scotland is estimated to be £6.8 billion, down 6.7% compared to the previous year
• Capital expenditure on oil and gas fields in Scottish waters is estimated to be £10.2 billion, down 17.6% compared to the previous year.

The statistics publication is available at:


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