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Oil Industry (Employment)

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list the numbers and percentages of foreign nationals employed offshore and onshore on oil exploration, maintenance and development in the Scottish jurisdiction sector of the North Sea, showing the number and percentage of citizens of member States of the EEC;(2) if he will list those oil companies holding exploration and production licences in the North Sea, showing the numbers and percentages of foreign nationals employed by them directly, or indirectly, through contractors and subcontractors, showing in each instance, where figures exist, the numbers and percentages of citizens of member States of the EEC.

The 1977 Brown Book gives figures for oil-related employment as far as they are known. Of the work force of some 10,000 estimated to be employed on offshore installations covered by the Mineral Workings Act 1971 we estimate that about half are foreign nationals. There is much variation according to types of employment. In some specialised drilling activities the proportion of foreign nationals is higher, whereas in the case of the work force on production platforms the proportion of British nationals is higher. The latter is the area of greatest growth as we move into the production phase. Figures by operator or by activity are not available. The work force is highly mobile, and full details could only be obtained at disproportionate expense.