Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

RISHI SUNAK: ‘I want more oil and gas’

Exclusive: The prime minister writes in the P&J about his government's plans for the vital energy industry as the Scottish Conservative conference begins in Aberdeen.

Rishi Sunak write in the P&J as his party gathers in Aberdeen for its conference. Image: PA.
Rishi Sunak write in the P&J as his party gathers in Aberdeen for its conference. Image: PA.

Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the soaring energy prices that followed, brought home the crucial importance of energy security to our national security.

Scotland is at the heart of that, with North Sea energy helping to power our homes and drive our economy.

I don’t want our young children to grow up to be dependent on foreign dictators for energy.

I want more offshore wind, I want more nuclear power and, while we transition to more green energy, I want more oil and gas that comes from home – relying instead on imported liquified gas comes with up to four times the carbon emissions.

‘Backing British oil and gas’

That’s why I’m here in the North-East of Scotland today – to show how the UK Government is backing British oil and gas and the tens of thousands of jobs the industry supports.

We’re delivering new legislation to tap North Sea oil and gas with annual licensing rounds, to boost our energy independence and support our transition to net zero. Proving that only the Conservatives can be trusted to sustain your jobs and livelihoods, unlike the SNP.

Offshore oil and gas production.
More than three-quarters of the UK’s energy consumption is derived from oil and gas. Image: Shutterstock / Igor Hotinsky

The SNP’s abandonment of the north-east is clear from their long-standing “presumption against” new oil and gas, their opposition to the Rosebank oil field and their partnership with the Scottish Greens.

As for Labour, they don’t want to ban oil and gas – just British oil and gas, by halting North Sea exploration.

Labour yet again prove they don’t have a plan. They put virtue signalling, not only above our energy security, but your financial security.

We Conservatives will always protect jobs, businesses, and the supply chain throughout our energy transition.

Just look at our North Sea Transition Deal: 40,000 jobs, supported. Billions of pounds of investment, generated.

And of course all this builds on our record on renewable energy.


I’m proud of the fact the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G7 country, with emissions down 48 percent between 1990 and 2021 – and that we are home to four of the largest working offshore wind farms in the world.

But I’m also determined that our transition is pragmatic and proportionate so that we don’t load costs onto hard pressed families.

And we must make the most of the transferable skills in the oil and gas industry, ensuring that they can be applied to the development and delivery of the low-carbon technologies that will underpin this transition.

Tories have been hoping to toast success in the north-east for years. Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP/Shutterstock

Of course, backing British oil and gas is just part of our plan to deliver growth here in Scotland.

I know from every visit I’ve made here what an incredible place this is: full of warmth, ingenuity and hard work.

So we’re backing Scottish innovation – from funding a new supercomputer in Edinburgh to supporting the development of space infrastructure in Dundee.

We’re championing your contribution to our military defences – supporting Scottish shipbuilding with new frigates being constructed on the Clyde and our aircraft carriers being maintained on the Forth.

And we’re working with you to attract investment and boost jobs with almost £3 billion for projects right across Scotland.

That includes two new Freeports and two further Investment Zones. And it includes millions being spent on projects in towns and cities, like £125 million for Aberdeen’s City Region Deal to boost the area including by expanding the harbour.

Legacy of Covid

All of this is making a difference. In part thanks to UK Government investment, Scotland is now the most attractive place in the UK outside of London for foreign direct investment.

I know that the last few years have been difficult, with the legacy of Covid and the impact of the war in Ukraine.

But I believe we’ve turned a corner. Inflation rates have more than halved. Mortgage rates are starting to come down. And wages have been rising faster than prices for six months now.

Sir Keir Starmer.
Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to stop new oil and gas projects in the UK North Sea. Image: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Because of our careful approach in managing the economy, we’ve been able to deliver a tax cut for millions of workers worth an average of £450 a year – benefitting 2.4 million people in Scotland alone.

In addition, we have cut taxes on business investment here in the UK by £11 billion.

We’re moving in the right direction.

So the choice is stark at the next election – stick to the plan that’s starting to work to deliver the long-term change for the country, or go back to square one with the Labour Party.

And as we look ahead, nobody should overlook the risk the SNP pose to Scotland and the rest of the UK.

I passionately believe we are stronger working together, united.

By creating jobs, generating energy, and strengthening our defences, Scotland plays an incredible role bolstering the collective strength of the United Kingdom – ensuring that together, we will build a better, brighter future for everyone.