Targets annual sales of £30 billion by 2020, increased exports and job opportunities
A new strategy for Scotland's oil and gas sector unveiled by the First Minister today is targeting £30 billion in annual sales by 2020.
Mr Salmond also announced Scottish Enterprise would make up to £10 million available to support innovation in the sector over the next three years.
Scottish Development International will also help companies develop their activities in the emerging oil and gas markets of West Africa, Norway and Brazil.
The long-term strategy plan outlined today is targeting long-term recovery rates and an expansion of exports from the oil and gas sector between now and 2020.
Six priorities have been identified in The Oil and Gas Strategy 2012-2020 report, led by the Scottish Government with input from industry and public sector partners.
Exports are targeted to increase from 46 per cent reported in 2010 to 60 per cent – valued at £18 billion at current prices – by 2020.
Expanding and strengthening the supply chain, developing technology to improve resource recovery and creating job opportunities for young people were also highlighted.
Mr Salmond, speaking today at the offices of Aberdeen-based oil and gas supply firm Hydrasun, said the sector in Scotland has a “bright future”, citing estimates of up to £1.5 trillion of oil and gas reserves still to be extracted in UK waters.
He said: "The strategy identifies key actions which can maximise future opportunities, for example, by helping the industry secure the necessary human capital and skills, by supporting innovation and technology deployment to boost recovery rates, by assisting more companies into new markets and by delivering investment in key infrastructure.
"We will continue to work closely with the sector to deliver excellent services, drive growth and support the on-going success of an industry that has powered the economies of Scotland and the UK over the last 40 years, and which can continue to be a key driver of prosperity in these islands well into the middle of this century."
Industry body UK Oil and Gas welcomed the strategy objectives.
David Ripley, supply chain director at UK Oil and Gas, said: “As this international activity grows and domestic production declines, we must ensure that the related technology and skills remain anchored in Scotland and indeed, across the UK.
He added: "We look forward to seeing the list of proposed actions required to deliver the strategy.
"We will actively encourage our members to participate to make sure the vision of a long-term prosperous sector is realised."