In Holyrood on Tuesday, Jackie Baillie (Scots for Nuclear Weapons) asked provocatively:
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the economic impact on Scotland of the current oil price being $60 a barrel, and how this compares with the price of $140 in 2014.
Derek Mackay was ready with the figures, if not the full mastery of grammar, to show that we can do fine without the oil revenues as income from it reduces as a percentage of our economy even while that is constrained by Westminster’s mismanagement and Eton rules on taxation (see below):
The global fall in the oil price in 2014 resulted in a challenging environment for the oil and gas industry, and in particular its workforce and the supply chain, with the resulting economic impacts being felt most strongly in the North East of Scotland. Over that period the industry demonstrated strong resilience to remain competitive and continues to be a crucial part of Scotland’s economy and energy mix. The strength and diversity of Scotland’s economic base has resulted in continued economic growth over the period. In 2014, oil and gas extraction was (sic) responsible for £15.5 billion, or 9.6%, of Scotland’s GDP. The equivalent value for 2018 was £16.2 billion, or 9%, of Scotland’s GDP. In 2014, the approximate sales income from oil and gas produced in Scotland was estimated to be £20.7 billion. The equivalent value for 2018 was £24.8 billion. In 2014, employment in the extraction of oil and gas and support services was 33,000. The equivalent figure for 2018 was 25,000. The sector and its skilled workforce has (sic) a vital part to play in Scotland’s energy transition, including the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage and supporting the development of a strong hydrogen industry in Scotland.