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Scotland has launched an investment fund worth £10m and is seeking applications from oil and gas companies for projects which can help to improve the integrity and reliability of oil and gas industry assets.

Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the oil and gas Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), will manage the fund.

Once the project receives funding, it will help ensure the oil and gas assets continue to operate effectively and safely through inspection, changes in management and analysis of their future integrity.

The government intends to announce future funds which are expected to target subsea challenges and innovation and improvement in reservoir imaging.

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Energy Minister, said the country’s oil and gas sector leads the world.

"With more than half of the value of the North Sea’s oil and gas reserves yet to be extracted, up to 24 billion recoverable barrels, with a potential wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, oil and gas will remain an enormous economic resource for decades to come," said Ewing.

"The Scottish Government’s Oil and Gas Strategy, announced earlier this year and developed in conjunction with industry, lays out a plan to help the industry go from strength to strength. This funding is a key component of that strategy, and meets a real need."

David Rennie, Scottish Enterprise director, Oil and Gas, Thermal Generation and CCS, said the nation’s oil and gas sector has played a crucial role in the nation’s economic success and increasing innovation in the industry.

"We know that many of our assets in the North Sea are already – or are close to – operating beyond their original design life," said Rennie.

"To ensure we capitalise effectively on the future potential we know exists in Scotland’s oil fields it’s vitally important that our assets are secure for the future. This call will help to foster innovation and provide funding for ideas to help bring them to market more quickly."


Image: Scotland has launched an investment fund worth £10m for oil and gas projects. Photo courtesy of: Scottish Enterprise.