The value of Scottish North Sea oil and gas has risen driven by an increase in production and prices, according to new figures.
Official statistics show oil and gas production in Scotland was around 74.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2016-17, u p 2.9% compared to the previous year.
The figure represents 82% of total UK production and is at its highest level since 2011-12.
The approximate sales value was £17.5 billion, up 15.2% from £15.2 billion in 2015-16.
Statisticians attributed the rise in production revenues to the increase in production and also a rise in prices towards the end of 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017.
Operating expenditure, excluding decommissioning, was estimated to be £5.9 billion, similar to the previous year despite the increase in production.
Capital expenditure was down from £10.1 billion to around £8 billion.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland’s oil and gas industry has a bright future, and it is encouraging to see this continued increase in production which has risen by a total of 25% over the last two years.
“These figures show that confidence is continuing to return to the sector after a number of challenging years.
“I do recognise that this remains a difficult time for the industry and its workforce, and the Programme for Government launched last week clearly outlines that even in the context of our low carbon transition harnessing the resources of the North Sea will be vital to the Scottish economy for decades to come.
“The Scottish Government will continue to do everything within our powers to support the industry and its workforce, while calling on the UK Government to improve the fiscal and regulatory regime to encourage on-going investment to support jobs and export led growth.”
Scottish Labour’s economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie MSP said: “It is welcome that these figures show small signs of recovery in the oil and gas industry, but the SNP’s response to the crisis has been half-hearted at best.
“Thousands of people have lost their jobs, but the SNP has failed to properly respond because to do so would be to admit what everyone in Scotland now knows – the Nationalists’ case for independence was built on fantasy economics that would have left Scotland poorer.”