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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Oil and Gas Exports Help Grow Scottish Exports to EU by 18.6%

Oil and gas drove the value of Scotland's experts to the EU up by 18.6% over the last year, according to Treasury figures.

Only this week, French energy giant Total began production in its Culzean gas condensate field off Aberdeen. It expects to extract 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, amounting to 5% of UK gas consumption, from the site 140 miles off the Scottish coast, meeting 18% of UK requirements.

Fossil fuel exports increased in value by 36.3% to £12.5 billion, with beverages including whisky increasing by 7% to £4.4 billion.

Total Scottish exports now account for a record-high £32.8 billion, with 4,950 Scottish businesses exporting abroad, 229 more than the same period in the previous year.

The increase in the value of goods sold to the EU - £2.7 billion of the new £17.4 billion total - shows "the importance of having free trade" according to Trade Minister Ivan McKee MSP, who said:

"These latest figures demonstrate the significance of the EU to Scotland's international exports, highlighting the importance of the single market and customs union, which is eight times bigger in population terms than the UK market alone."

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“Under the SNP, Scotland’s unemployment is at a record low, exports are growing faster and productivity growth is outpacing the rest of the UK.

“The SNP Government is working to grow exports further. On 01 May it published ‘A Trading Nation – a plan for growing Scotland’s exports’. This evidence-based report sets a headline target of growing exports from 20% to 25% of Scotland’s national income, adding £3.5 billion and generating 17,500 jobs.

“Achieving this ambition would see international exports almost double by 2029. The plan focuses on providing tailored support for companies to further grow their existing exports and enter new markets and focus efforts on activity that will create the greatest impact on the economy.

The evidence shows that Scotland’s top sectors account for 84% of our export value. The plan will therefore increase support across those areas - Food and Drink; Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing; Life and Chemical Science; Technology, Digital and Media, Financial and Business Services and Energy.

“Only last week, Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP announced the second phase of the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan, to help the industry to achieve its overall aim to double turnover by 2030.

“In turbulent times, it is heartening to see Scottish exports go from strength to strength. With Brexit looming, it makes those measures the SNP Government is taking all the more important.”


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