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Worker dies after huge wave slams into North Sea rig

The rig, which belongs to Chinese Oilfield Services Ltd, where the accident happened. Credit: COSL

One person died and two others were injured when a huge wave smashed into a North Sea drilling rig on Wednesday, energy company Statoil said.

Nearly 50 people were evacuated from the rig off Norway's west coast after the wave damaged the offshore platform's living quarters.

The rig, which belongs to Chinese Oilfield Services Ltd , was now heading toward land in the North Sea, officials said.

Statoil did not say how many people were aboard the platform, which had been taken off a well in the Troll oil and gas field due to rough weather.

Ed Balls calls for support for North Sea oil industry

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has written an article calling for the protection of the North Sea oil industry amid plummeting oil prices.

Writing in the Press and Journal ahead of a visit to Aberdeen with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, he warned that the industry was "at a cross-roads" and called for a resilience fund for oil workers and tax incentives:

The oil industry is vital to the Scottish economy and nobody can doubt it needs support. There's nothing to stop the SNP Government in Edinburgh setting this up now. There's no time to waste ...

We need to see urgent action to improve the tax incentives for North Sea oil investment. And if George Osborne fails to act then I am clear that, after the general election in May, a UK Labour government will. Because failing to act will not only risk jobs and investment now, it will also cost the UK taxpayer in the long-term as we lose revenue from oil that gets left in the ground.

– ed balls, shadow chancellor


SNP urges Scottish Labour to back North Sea measures

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has called on Scottish Labout to back its proposals for alleviating pressure on the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Speaking ahead of a debate on the subject in the House of Commons, SNP Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

Every day without action from the UK Government risks further damage to the oil and gas industry. Businesses and oil workers in the North Sea do not need to wait for another review, they need action now.

Labour must give their full support to the immediate reduction in the supplementary charge and support an exploration tax credit that would secure a strong future for the North Sea.

– Fergus Ewing, scottish energy minister

Scottish Labour calls for North Sea resilience fund

Scottish Labour is calling for a resilience fund to be made available for those whose livelihoods depend on the North Sea oil and gas industry.

It has also suggested reducing business rates on the sector as a temporary measure to "allow the business to stabilise or to mitigate the impact of large scale redundancies".

Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran accused both Westminster and Holyrood of inaction:

We need the UK Government to come forward with their long term plan for the industry to provide operators with some certainty, and we need the Scottish Government to set up a Resilience Fund so that Aberdeen and the surrounding areas do not have to bear the brunt of losses in the industry.

– Margaret Curran, shadow Scottish secretary

Government urged to take action over North Sea jobs

The Government will be urged to take action to save jobs in the North Sea oil and gas industry during a House of Commons debate on the situation today.

A BP platform around 100 miles east of Aberdeen Credit: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire

The industry is facing the loss of jobs and future investment as a result of the plummeting price of oil on global markets.

North Sea oil and gas provides about 450,000 jobs, with a high concentration in Aberdeen where it supports more than half of all jobs.

Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran said this could be the biggest threat to Scottish jobs in more than 20 years and urged the Scottish and UK Governments to "take the action that is needed".

Father of North Sea crash victim 'needs more answers'

The father of one of the 16 men killed in the North Sea helicopter crash in 2009 says the families need more answers, and criticised the length of the inquiry.

John Edwards told ITV News he believes there are still many questions left unanswered and call for a public inquiry into the crash.

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