With only 3 months to go until the Scottish referendum, the oil and gas industry have had their say on September's landmark vote.
A study conducted by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) have seen a split opinion on issues surrounding referendum. Here are the highlight figures from the report.
45% investment impact
In collaboration with the University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander institute, the AGCC found that 45% of the 700 firms surveyed said the referendum was impacting on their future plans and investment proposals, an increase from 38% a year ago.
38% say no difference
Despite 38% of businesses saying they did not believe the vote would make any real difference, 18% did say Scottish independence would be positive for the sector. 12% said it would be a negative move for the north sea oil and gas industry. The remaining 1/3 were on the fence suggesting it was difficult to see a clear view at this stage.
48% unsure of change
The Wood review has came under criticism in the report. The recommendations by oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, which are to be fast-tracked by the UK government if the 'no' vote wins, were created with the intention of maximising the UK's offshore resources. 48% of firms however, said they were unsure whether the review would lead to significant change for the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
37% optimism reported
Research found that confidence was up amongst oil and gas firms about their future prospect on the UKCS. 37% felt more confident, more than double the number from 2013. This was further enhanced by the fact that 35% of respondents reported an upward trend in UKCS investment over the past 12 months.
70% employee support
The positive economic climate has meant firms are set to spend more on investment over the next 2 years regardless of the vote, with new markets, research and development and staff training the 3 major projects. Staff themselves have shown an overwheling 'yes' to independence, with 70% supporting the vote.
Despite the oil and gas output in the North Sea dropping considerably since the late 90s, the fact that the price has remained relatively unchanged in 4 years bodes well for the future. Regardless of a yes or no vote, the UKCS still has a lot to give. And for the companies that are based there, they will certainly hope any constitutional change, if any, will be a speedy and effective process.
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