Mundell seeks Texas lessons for North Sea

David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland

The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell on Wednesday travelled to Texas to build links with the US energy industry to help support the North Sea oil and gas sector — and to learn how Dallas and Houston diversified their economies.

Mundell said a key part of the UK Government’s strategy for the UK’s oil and gas sector is to support diversification in overseas markets as well as encouraging further investment into North Sea oil and gas.

“There are wider lessons for the North East of Scotland to learn from the American oil and gas industry, and from cities like Dallas and Houston,” said Mundell.

“They have successfully diversified their economies, and I will be hearing from officials in those cities about the lessons they have learned and how we could apply them in Scotland.”

Mundell said he would meet key industry figures in Houston and Dallas, where local economies remain strong despite prolonged low oil prices.

Mundell planned to meet executives from a number of businesses including Maersk, BP and the Weir Group.

“As we have seen recently with job losses and now a negative tax balance, the Scottish oil and gas sector faces real challenges,” said Mundell.

“The UK Government is determined to do everything it can to support the industry, and the many jobs which depend on it.

“My visit to the United States is part of that strategy.

“I will be meeting oil companies in the Texas oil and gas capitals of Dallas and Houston, to encourage on-going investment into the North Sea.

“The North East of Scotland also has a huge amount of expertise which can be exported around the world, and the US should be a part of its market.”