A crisis summit has been summoned to help prevent job losses in Scottish oil sector

North Sea oil summit to help struggling sector

British oil industry and government representatives have been invited to attend a crisis summit to help protect Scotland’s oil and gas sector struggling with plummeting prices.

Announced by the leader of Aberdeen City Council Jenny Laing, the summit will attempt to find a common agreement between the trade unions, industry bodies and politicians to limit the impacts of the current oil price crisis on jobs in Scotland.

"It must concern us all that the price of oil has dropped so heavily in such a short space of time and we need to agree a strategy to deal with fluctuations that undermine confidence in the North Sea,” Laing said.

"I have therefore requested that our chief executive Angela Scott write to the various leaders within both the UK and Scottish governments, UK Oil and Gas and other industry leaders, Unite the Union and other unions with an interest in this matter and Aberdeenshire Council to arrange a summit in Aberdeen to try and find a strategic solution to ensure Aberdeen retains its position as the energy capital of Europe."

Labour has pledged to send its leader Jim Murphy and has urged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister David Cameron to attend.

According to Laing, minimising the loss of jobs will be the main task of the strategic plan.

Scottish Labour energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald welcomed Laing’s announcement.

"Both Jim Murphy and I look forward to working constructively with all stakeholders to find a solution that supports the thousands of jobs at risk here in the north-east.

"I can only hope that Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron answer the call in the same constructive spirit, and come to Aberdeen to look for solutions to support Scotland's oil industry."

A Scottish government spokesman reassured that the government will continue to support Scotland’s oil and gas sector but called for the UK government to step in to help mitigate the crisis.

"As we have long said, what the industry requires is a stable predictable fiscal regime, and that substantial tax incentives are needed to achieve the objective of maximising recovery,” the spokesmen said.

"Unless the UK government acts to bring in further measures, the likelihood is some fields will cease production early."

The Scottish government has invested about £10m in the Oil and Gas Innovation Council and has worked with Energy Skills Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to help boost the industry. The government said international activity of Scottish supply chain companies grew to £10bn in 2012-13, an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year.

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