Scotland's Independent Expert Commission on Oil and Gas: report

The maximising the total value added report includes recommendations designed to facilitate long term stability and predictability for the industry.

Remit and Scope

1. The Oil and Gas Expert Commission ('the Commission') was appointed by the Scottish Government in advance of the September 2014 Referendum.

2. Its remit was to consider options for the implementation of the key principles set out in the Scottish Government paper ' Maximising the Return from Oil and Gas in an Independent Scotland [4] '; providing an independent expert view on the optimum application of the oil and gas policy framework.

3. The principles outlined in the Scottish Government's paper are aimed at improving the production profile, and enhancing the climate for investment in the UKCS. For this to be achieved it is important that the policy framework supports the recovery of commercially marginal, but technically accessible, resources.

4. It is the Commission's view that this can be delivered through ensuring that there is a stable and predictable fiscal environment, which is competitive internationally, and which is underpinned by an effective, fair and transparent licensing and regulatory regime. This has been the primary focus of the work of the Commission.

5. Irrespective of the outcome of the referendum, following the direction provided by the Scottish Government, the Commission has sought to:

a. present the optimal conditions which will secure a legacy for the Oil and Gas industry as a whole, and

b. establish findings which influence future Government policy in the years to come.

6. The Commission has considered its brief to be the maximisation of value, as well as creating the means for the assurance of the long-term future of the UK Continental Shelf ( UKCS [5] ). Therefore, the central aim of the Commission has been to:

a. determine how to generate maximum value from the remaining hydrocarbon resources and the associated supply chain;

b. identify the obstacles to maximising oil and gas investment and economic recovery; and

c. propose potential solutions as to how these might be overcome by government intervention.

7. The Commission has also considered certain issues relating to the governance of the sector which would follow any transition to separate Scottish and rest of the UK jurisdictions.

8. In gathering evidence, the Commission has elicited industry's views on what Government's role should be in achieving these objectives.

9. It has held meetings with, and sought written evidence from a broad range of stakeholders across all sectors of the industry - including large, medium and small operators. The Commission also published and promoted an online survey hosted by Robert Gordon University which allowed stakeholders to contribute their views and ideas.


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