New exploration in the North Sea will be supported by a £5 million UK government fund for 2018-19, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced during a visit to Aberdeen and Dundee.
The funding will be used by the Oil and Gas Authority to survey under-explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf to find potential new deposits.
The announcement came on the same day that the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen said its work with industry on new subsea technologies could help unlock 400 million additional barrels of oil and gas from the North Sea and £3 billion of additional value to the industry.
Hammond said: “The oil and gas industry remains vital for the Scottish economy and the UK as a whole.
“The £5 million funding I am announcing will help exploration to find potential new deposits, and boost prospects for jobs in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.
“This continues the UK government’s extensive package of tax and funding support for the industry and the wider Scottish economy.
“I’ve seen today how Dundee has benefitted from our life sciences and creative sector funding.
“I now look forward to progress being made on the Tay Cities Deal, which will follow the £1 billion already committed by the UK to Scotland’s City Deals so far.
“This government will continue using the UK’s broad shoulders to provide Scotland with the skills and support it needs to thrive in the future.”
UK Energy Minister Richard Harrington, said: “North Sea oil will continue to fuel growth and jobs across Scotland and the rest of the UK, with an estimated 10-20 billion barrels still remaining.
“I was in Aberdeen last month and saw first-hand the work of the Oil and Gas Authority which we established to be a strong, independent regulator focused on maximising economic recovery.
“The sector continues to have the full support of the UK government, confidence is returning, and today’s announcement recognises there are great opportunities for further exploration.”