Publication - FOI/EIR release

Financial questions on First Minister, Scottish Government and oil reserves: FOI Release

Published: 24 Oct 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
24 Oct 2019
Financial questions on First Minister, Scottish Government and oil reserves: FOI Release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02270
Date received: 4 Oct 2019
Date responded: 24 Oct 2019
Information requested

You asked for

  1. List of expenses claimed by the First Minister of Scotland in the years of 2017 and 2018.
  2. How much money was received from the UK Government by the Scottish Government in 2017 and 2018.
  3. The current and 2018 deficit of the Scottish Government.
  4. The current, as of last estimates, value of Scottish oil reserves in the North Sea.
Response

Dealing with each part of your request in turn: 

1. List of expenses claimed by the First Minister of Scotland in the years of 2017 and 2018

Nicola Sturgeon in her role as First Minister of Scotland claimed no expenses in the years 2017 and 2018. MSP expenses can be found on the Scottish Parliament website at: http://mspallowances.scottish.parliament.uk/ . The Scottish Parliament can be contacted at Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP.

2. How much money was received from the UK Government by the Scottish Govenrment in 2017 and 2018.

The answer to your question is that details of the block grant allocated to the Scottish Government, published by HM Treasury in ‘Block Grant Transparency: December 2018 publication’ which is available on the web at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/block-grant-transparency-december-2018

The block grant from the UK Government to the Scottish Government is calculated for each financial year, not for each calendar year. Table 3.A of that document states that the Scottish Government block grant after adjustment for the financial years covering calendar years 2017 and 2018 has been:

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
£23,842.0m £17,807.9m £18,633.5m

Income tax rates and bands have been devolved to Scotland from 2017-18 onwards. This results in a decrease in the block grant between 2016-17 and 2017-18 which is offset by income raised from Scottish taxes.

3. The current and 2018 deficit of the Scottish Government.

The answer to your question is that the Scottish Government does not have a deficit: the Budget (Scotland) Act for each year, and subsequent in-year revisions, deliver a balanced budget.

4. The current, as of last estimates, value of Scottish oil reserves in the North Sea.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, the Scottish Government has not produced an estimate of the current value of oil reserves in Scottish adjacent waters of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has produced a publication for the Scottish Government providing estimates of the quantity and value of services being supplied by Scottish natural capital, including oil and gas production. These are experimental statistics and use a particular methodology to estimate natural capital asset values, capitalising the annual flow of services from the natural resource that are expected to take place over a projected period. The latest estimate for the monetary asset value of oil and gas was £69.2 billion in 2017 following the ONS Net Present Value methodology. The publication can be found via https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-natural-capital-ecosystem-service-accounts-2019/ . The Office for National Statistics can be contacted at: Customer Contact Centre, Office for National Statistics, Room D265, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport, South Wales, NP10 8XG.

The Scottish Government produces estimates of oil and gas production activity in Scotland (including Scottish adjacent waters). It reports production volumes, approximate sales income, operating costs and capital expenditure. The latest results estimate that in 2018, 82 per cent of all UK oil and gas was produced in Scottish waters and that oil and gas production in Scotland increased by 4.6% to 77.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe). They estimate that in 2018, approximate sales income rose to £24.8 billion, due to increased oil and gas prices. The publication can be found at https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/oilgas2018.

The Oil and Gas Authority estimate that remaining UKCS recoverable petroleum resources is in the range of 10 to 20 billion barrels or more of oil equivalent at the end of 2018, including discovered and undiscovered resources. The publication provides details of oil and gas reserves and resources, including prospective resources, by area (UKCS basin). The publication can be found via https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/news-publications/publications/2019/uk-oil-and-gas-reserves-and-resources-report-as-at-end-2018/. The Oil and Gas Authority can be contacted at AB1 Building, 48 Huntly Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1SH.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG