Offshore Energies UK represents 400 companies involved in producing energy from gas, oil, wind and emerging low-carbon technologies.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s publication of its draft energy strategy, Jenny Stanning, OEUK’s external relations director, said: “Our industry has pledged to work with the Scottish Government towards its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2045.
“So, we strongly support the strategy’s commitment to develop a Scottish hydrogen economy, including the exciting Acorn project in the north-east.
“Acorn would be the core of both Scotland’s hydrogen production industry and the development of its CO2 capture and storage technologies.
“However, we are concerned at the statement’s suggestion of accelerating the decline in oil and gas production.
“Scotland gets 79% of its total energy from oil and gas according to its latest official figures. Across the UK about 24 million homes (85% of the total) rely on gas boilers for heat and we get 42% of our electricity from gas. We also have 32 million vehicles running on petrol and diesel.
“The plain facts mean we will need gas and oil for years to come. Additionally, in Scotland alone, the offshore industry supports 90,000 jobs. Across the UK it’s around 200,000.
“So we need to ensure that the final strategy acknowledges the continuing role of oil and gas in Scotland’s economy – as well as our sector’s role in a rapid transition to a low-carbon future.”