The Scottish Government has welcomed progress in its oil and gas strategy one year after it was launched.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, speaking last night before a visit to Aberdeen, said decades of experience recovering oil and gas from the challenging North Sea had given Scottish firms the expertise needed for production and exploration globally.

But North Sea oil and gas was still a hugely valuable asset, he said, adding: “There are an estimated 24billion barrels of oil still to be recovered, with a potential wholesale value of up to £1.5trillion.

The government’s oil and gas strategy update shows supply-chain sales increased by 5.8% in 2011-12 to reach £17.2billion, against a 2020 target of £30billion.

It comes days after the UK Government said it was launching an independent review of how to exploit the most oil and gas from offshore reserves The review, chaired by Aberdonian businessman Sir Ian Wood, will look at ways to increase production.