Two major oil and gas companies have said that tax breaks for North Sea ultra-high-pressure-high-temperature (HPHT) projects could help to bring in £6bn of industry investment and a massive increase in contractor roles.

BG Group and Denmark’s Maersk Oil released a joint statement saying that George Osborne’s proposals would lead to support for their Jackdaw gas discovery which still needs development. According to them, this discovery will contribute significantly to the country’s gas supply.

BG Group’s managing director of their European upstream business, Andy Samuel, said: “The gas produced from these new fields could provide 10% of the UK’s gas demand when operating at peak rate.”

Rising tensions with Russian and the reliance on their gas supplies means any plans to make the UK more self-reliant will likely be welcomed.

Both companies believe that if the projects go ahead they will create 8,000 new positions within the supply chain which is spread across Britain, while they also expect it to create 700 new jobs as well.

There are concerns in regards to Scottish independence and the effect this could have though.

Samuel pointed out that if Scotland was to go it alone they would face significant costs to cover decommissioning North Sea infrastructure. He said: “An independent Scotland would have to invest 3,800 pounds per head – over ten times more than when costs are spread across the UK – to match the 20 billion pounds the UK Government has committed towards decommissioning in the North Sea.”

Image by Isaac Newton.