THE BBC has changed a story about the closure of Grangemouth oil refinery after an “incorrect” statement was included.

It comes after Mairi Spowage, the director at the Fraser of Allander Institute, called out owners Petroineos over a statistic which was being widely reported around the story.

As was previously claimed on Petroineos’s website, media outlets including the BBC were reporting that the Grangemouth refinery was “responsible for 4% of Scotland's GDP” (gross domestic product).

But Spowage said this was “incorrect”.

Writing on social media, the institute director said: “I just wanted to do a quick thread [on] one of the figures that has been referenced in relation to the news that Grangemouth is to stop refining petroleum in 2025, with the possible net loss of 400 jobs.

“These high value, high wage jobs are very important for the local area, and it is of course important to consider what this could mean strategically for the UK’s energy security to lose refining capacity.

“However, the figure that has been quoted widely in the media about the impact on GDP is not accurate. The claim, according to Petroineos, is that ‘the refinery is responsible for 4% of Scotland's GDP and approximately 8% of its manufacturing base’. THIS IS INCORRECT.

“According to official statistics, chemical AND petroleum production accounted for 1.1% of Scotland’s economic output in 2021 (0.7% in 2019), of which around 74% of employment is in chemical production. So the figure for refining is likely to be much closer to something like 0.25%–0.3%, NOT 4%.

“This is still an important, significant and worrying announcement for Grangemouth and for Scotland. But it does no one any favours to use statistics which are incorrect.”

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The claim previously appeared on the website However, it has now been removed.

The BBC had reported the figure, but made clear it came from Petroineos.

In a story published on Wednesday, the corporation reported: “According to Petroineos, the refinery is responsible for 4% of Scotland's GDP and approximately 8% of its manufacturing base.”

This has now been updated to include the intervention from Spowage, adding: “However, economists at the Fraser of Allander Institute dispute this, suggesting a lower GDP figure of around 0.25% to 0.3%.”

BBC Scotland editor James Cook acknowledged the incorrect statistic on social media, writing: “Yesterday we quoted a claim made on the Petroineos website (which we attributed to Petroineos as a claim rather than reporting as a fact) that the Grangemouth refinery is responsible for 4% of Scotland’s GDP. The respected Fraser of Allander Institute says that’s not accurate.”

At the time of writing, there is no mention of the correction on the BBC’s dedicated errors page.

The BBC has been asked if the page will be updated.