Sir Ian Wood, whose intervention in the independence debate caused such a stir after he questioned Scottish Government figures for future oil production, said the electorate had “chosen the best of both worlds”.
The former Wood Group chairman added the decisive No vote was “in the best interests of our children and grandchildren”.
He said: “The UK Government must now deliver on their undertakings on wider devolved responsibilities to the Scottish Parliament and every effort must be made to heal the rifts from the past few months. Scotland must unite and work within the wider UK to take full advantage of the opportunities.
“In oil and gas, there are two very important and urgently needed initiatives underway – the fiscal review and the setting up of the new regulator, the Offshore Gas Authority, a key recommendation from my Maximising Economic Recovery review.
“Our industry is currently struggling with a completely unacceptable low level of exploration and a significant number of our offshore assets potentially up for sale.
“Yesterday’s vote now allows both these vital change initiatives to be progressed and brought into play by UK Government as quickly as possible to enable us to attract more investment.
“The debate has also highlighted the impact of depletion on the oil and gas industry in the medium term and certainly areas like the north-east of Scotland must begin to take this seriously, doing everything in the meantime to maximise the economic recovery of the remaining reserves but also beginning to think about the implications of the inevitable decline of its major industry.
“Let’s hope the huge amount of energy that’s been allocated to this very passionate debate over the last two years can now be applied to make the best of Scotland’s opportunities and the additional devolved responsibilities.”
By Keith Findlay