Council leader welcomes oil and gas summit

Aberdeenshire Council’s leader has welcomed an economic summit on the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The summit is being called due to the plummeting price of a barrel of crude oil in recent months.

Councillor Jim Gifford said: “The oil and gas industry is incredibly important, not only to the North-east economy, but to the economy of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“The area benefits when oil prices are high, but this also brings challenges impacting on house prices and affecting the local recruitment market.

“It’s important that we consider the impact of a falling oil prices, the likely effect on the economy and steps we can collectively take to support the industry.

“However, we must also be careful not to over-react to circumstances over which we have limited, if any, control and talk ourselves into a problem that is bigger than it really is. We know that the industry is cyclical and has highs and lows determined by the world-wide price of oil.”

“Over recent weeks we have seen some parts of the oil and gas industry reduce their costs by shedding jobs and reducing pay.

“However, anyone who spends time in and around Aberdeen will know that the market has become over-heated with spiralling house prices and the public sector simply unable to recruit to posts due to the high salaries being offered by the private sector.

“There are still plenty of opportunities for people who want to work in the area, and I believe the effect of the oil prices will start to redress the balance of the local economy.”