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  By Bob Duncan
A Glasgow based think tank’s claim, that figures it used in a report into future north sea oil receipts were in line with those of a respected Professor of Economics, has been challenged by the academic.
Professor Alex Kemp has questioned claims of broad agreement after the Glasgow-based Centre for Public Policy for the Regions (CPPR), said estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), on which its report was based, were “roughly consistent” with those of the academic.

According to Professor Kemp, the estimates used by the CPPR are "pessimistic" compared with his own forecasts.

Professor Kemp’s comments follow publication of a report co-authored by the CPPR’s John McLaren and Professor Jo Armstrong.  According to Armstrong and McLaren, who is a former Scottish Labour party advisor, Scotland’s economy faces significant deterioration over the next three years due to a fall in tax receipts from north sea oil.

Scotland currently has a stronger economy than the UK and would have a smaller deficit if independent.  However according to the CPPR report, with falling oil and gas receipts then, "the reverse is likely to be true, implying a position that would lead to greater tightening of austerity".

The CPPR admitted that an independent Scotland could mitigate the effects of fluctuating oil prices if it set up a sovereign fund.  However it warned that diverting oil receipts into such a Norwegian style fund would worsen the Scottish deficit.

"The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) latest figures imply that the UK would be in a better position to ease austerity," it added.

Prof. McLaren said: "It seems inevitable that future North Sea tax revenues will remain difficult to predict.

"Not only do oil prices remain highly erratic and unpredictable, but production from the North Sea also appears to be getting more erratic and difficult to predict."

He added: "Current projections for Scotland's share of North Sea taxes seem likely to leave Scotland with a marginally better, or very similar, fiscal balance compared to the UK, but only up to 2014-15.

"Thereafter, Scotland's fiscal balance is set to worsen. This position could, in the short-run at least, further worsen if a Sovereign Oil Fund was initiated in order to improve budget stability."

However Professor Alex Kemp has challenged claims that his own forecasts are broadly in line with those used by the CPPR.

Speaking to Newsnet Scotland, Professor Kemp said: "The OBR's combination of low production estimates with low price estimates is pessimistic compared with other predictions including our own."

The leading academic, who previously worked for Shell, explained that the OBR figures on which the CPPR report was based were pessimistic in terms of both production levels and oil prices, and therefore represented the bottom level of current estimates.

According to Professor Kemp the OBR figures appeared to have been taken from two different sources, each of which provided the lowest available estimates for production and price respectively.

He said the OBR took their production estimates from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), who used a very high contingency for production shutdown, leading to an unusually low estimate of future production.

In its October projections for oil and gas production, the DECC report admitted to applying “very significant negative contingencies to the aggregate figures.”

However, explained professor Kemp, the OBR estimates of future prices, were not based on the DECC report but on the future contracts market, resulting in a low price of $89 per barrel.   The DECC estimates of future oil prices are much more bullish, with 2017 prices predicted to reach $120.

The CPPR report has been seized on by Unionist opponents of independence.  Head of the anti-independence Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling said: "This report endorses the work of the independent OBR.

"It shows just how volatile the oil and gas market can be and how difficult it is to make any kind of long-term predictions in this area.

"The Nationalists would have you believe that everything in a separate Scotland could be paid for by establishing an oil fund.

"What this report shows is that they would be looking to set up this fund at exactly the same time that the revenues from oil and gas would start to steeply drop.

"This would leave Scotland with a large deficit and would mean that some very hard choices would have to be made on public spending and public services."

However the comments from Professor Kemp will cast doubt on the validity of the conclusions drawn by the CPPR.

The report has also received significant coverage from BBC Scotland, with the corporation claiming that “oil revenues have contributed up to a fifth of Scotland's annual income (21.3%) in the past decade.”

In fact the 21.3% figure was from a single year 2008/9, while the lowest was 9.7% in 2003/4.

Responding to the CPPR claims, a Scottish government spokesman said: "With 24 billion barrels of oil still to be recovered with a wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, the North Sea oil and gas sector has a bright future, underlined just this week with Dana Petroleum's announcement of a £1bn development, demonstrating the continuing growth of Scotland's energy sector.

"Professor Kemp's latest analysis shows the Treasury will have taken £10 billion from Scotland's North Sea in 2011-12 at a time when Scotland is facing the prospect of up to five more years of UK austerity

"The CPPR acknowledge the OBR's forecasts, which are pessimistic relative to many others, should not be seen as the definitive picture, with the UK government's own energy department expecting oil prices of $120 in 2017.

"An independent Scotland will be able to face the difficult financial choices ahead from a stronger position than in the UK and use the full range of economic levers to support growth, boost revenues and deliver public services."

The OBR was created by Conservative Chancellor George Osborne after his party formed a coalition with the Lib Dems following the 2010 general election.  The credibility of OBR figures were dealt a blow this month after the UK economy was revealed to have shrunk by 0.1%, despite the OBR having forecast growth of 2.5% in December 2011.


This is not the first time there have been questions over figures used by the CPPR.  In September 2011 the think-tank was embroiled in a row after it was accused of triple-accounting after publishing a report claiming that Scottish government plans would see a massive hike in business rates.

The report, by Professor Jo Armstrong and Professor John McLaren, claimed that businesses in Scotland faced a massive increase to their business rates of £849 million over three years.

However in a letter to the Herald newspaper Finance Secretary John Swinney called the figure of £849m “misleading” and went on to explain that the real figure was £493m.  Around half of which was due to the annual poundage rate RPI increases that are introduced north and south of the border and which businesses know they have to plan for.

The actual increase as a consequence of inflation was £250m over the three-year cycle and not the treble plus figure implied in the CPPR report.


[Newsnet Scotland is currently on a festive break. There will be no scheduled daily news updates in the main news area - however from time to time, if a member of the team is available, they may draft an article on a story they feel is particularly important.]


# call me dave 2012-12-20 22:05
How did I know that the BBC and the think tank would

a) be linked to the unionist cause and
b) be demolished and discredited whithin a few hours

Next scare story please!
# clootie 2012-12-20 22:35
call me dave

I know - what a surprise. One branch of the unionist machine creates it and the rest report it as true.

They will have to create new think tanks or change the name again.

Thank goodness for the Internet.
# bodun 2012-12-21 18:14
Labour is in retreat over policy embarrassments over on the 'Shire:
# mealer 2012-12-20 22:58
Thank goodness for the supermarket.Its a great pace to meet people and drop the odd little nugget of info into a brief conversation.
# art1001 2012-12-20 23:00
I never understand how a country so well endowed with massive whisky exports, oil revenues, agricultural production, tidal/wave/wind energy, fish, etc etc etc can be such turn out to be such a dismal basket case of an economy according to this shower.

Maybe if they disbanded then they would reduce the size of the public sector in Scotland and help our balance sheet in the process. I am sure if we did not have a CPPR it would not make a blind bit of difference.
# clootie 2012-12-21 10:15

I think CPPR was formed via Glasgow Uni with a few suspect links, I think they main issue is that they are quoted selectively.
# ButeHouse 2012-12-21 15:02
Art1001, I left a similar quote on the Scotsman article telling us what a burden Oil will be to an Independent Scotland.

While Qatar this week was called the richest country in the world Scotland's being told that owing to Oil price fluctuations (which apparently no other Oil rich country is subject to) Independence will send us hurtling into poverty and despair.....or words and groans to that effect.

It would be funny If wasn't so serious.

What is funny though is this:

It's Labour and the sainted Jackie Bailey being slaughtered at a Trade Union debate on Free Tuition, Bus passes etc

The best Christmas Present for 'YES' that money couldn't buy.

Stay Positive - VOTE YES
# Will C 2012-12-20 23:10
I live in Aberdeenshire and I watch as the oil companies build offices in and around Aberdeen like klondyke goldminers set up tents. Would they really be spending millions on new accomodation if oil was in decline. A number of new investments in the North Sea have been announced in recent weeks.
The co-authors of this report are John McLaren an ex-Labour Party member, and adviser to Jack McConnell and Henry McLeish and Jo Armstrong another ex-Labour adviser who supports PPP ideology and the privatisation of Scottish Water.

This report bears no resemblance to what is happening in the oil industry, my two sons work in it and it is buzzing.
This report was designed to put the frighteners on the people of Scotland. It is nothing more than unionist propaganda.
# DJ 2012-12-20 23:58
Yes, and I work for a construction company in the central belt. I wonder why all the contracts we get with oil companies in Aberdeen exist given the oil will run out in 5/10/15 years.

However, I remember when studying engineering at University in the 80's being told the oil will run out in 5/10/15 years.

# James01 2012-12-20 23:23
The negative stories we see week after week regarding our oil resources is a deliberate and systematic ploy by the Unionist establishment to underplay the importance of the industry and the benefits it would bring to an independent Scotland. It's so transparent, if it wasn’t so damaging it would be laughable.
# daveniz 2012-12-20 23:34
if oil was running out would you think the oil industry who are experts and more clued to what is out in the north sea invest so heavily! the only time You will know is when there scaling back!
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-12-20 23:44
I wonder just who these CPPR folk think they are fooling?

Exxon sell on Brent South for $1.7 trillion last year, Danna announce a £1.6 billion investment in the Western Isles oil and gas, JX Nippon are buying the Italian company Ini's UK North Sea holdings, BP just sold one of their North Sea Fields on for £1.5 billion .... and yet the CPPR try to peddle this keech ...

Two years to go and the lies get stupider and stupider ... just watch Joruth Davimont's display today at FMQ's for more evidence of their desperation
# cuckooshoe 2012-12-21 00:32
I will treat 'the claim' with a large pinch of salt...

I saw some more good news on the BBC Scotland website..

One of Japan's major energy companies is making a significant investment in at least 20 UK offshore oil and gas fields.

JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration is buying assets from Italian firm Eni.

The move is intended to push up its UK production from 9,000 barrels per day to 50,000 barrels by 2019.


The company will have a 29% stake in Mariner, south-east of Shetland, which is one of the UK's largest undeveloped oil fields, reckoned to hold up to 500m barrels of recoverable oil.

This is hot on the heels of Dana's announcement on 17/12/2012 of a £1 billon investment..
# Angus 2012-12-21 07:50
Dis-information is a major part of the NO campaign.
# EphemeralDeception 2012-12-21 08:21
The bias comes from the fact that the CPPR focuses so much on fluctuating oil prices and production levels as a problem that uniquely hits Scotland. Norway seems to be doing more than ok.

The variance that that we will get is still a huge benefit compared to the near zero production that rUK will be left with. Strange there is no CPPR report on that!
Tax income will vary but the sector is of huge importance to the UK since decades and I cannot wait till the London headquartered oil offices ramp down and new ones open up in Scotland.

It is supposedly the end of the world today, but a YES vote in 2014 will really end the unionist world.
# The_Duke 2012-12-21 08:46
The daily dose of "cry wolf" is starting to have the opposite effect.

People, in general are not stupid, and only last week there was an annoucement of a billion pound investment in 2 fields in the Nth Sea.

The man in the street will put two and two together and ask themselves... "Hang on,..... why are they investing £1bn if it is worthless in 2 years.... ah the media are lying to us!

What else have the lied about? McCrone report? WMD?......
# Macart 2012-12-21 08:48
Oh geez another 'the oils runnin' oot' threat. Aye that oil is jist useless. As for the new projects planned for Shetland and the latest wheeze fae that Dana Petroleum, well they're just surely misguided. :(

Setting aside the fact that we're all quite aware that oil is a finite resource, it doesn't matter whether there is one and a half trillion quids worth left or one pound fifty. The point is the UKs had a good 40 odd years of production out of one of our national resources and Scotland has seen little or no identifiable benefit. Its way beyond time we sacked the current management and replaced them with those who would use what resource is left to best benefit Scotland's future.
# Embra 2012-12-21 08:50
I notice that the Call Kezia Dugdale show is on this morning again.

BBC Scotland really is only an extension of Scottish Labour.
# cokynutjoe 2012-12-21 10:59
Embra, I also heard publicity-shy Kezia Dugdale on the Payday Loans scandal which, aside from the fact that this is a Westminster problem, coming from a member of a party which foisted massive debt upon us all via their PFI programme, she appears to have swallowed the camel and now finds herself straining at the proverbial gnat.
Kaye on the other hand, on food matters, was perplexed to hear from a listener in Stirling who sang the praises of his Maw's "Skirlie", way too Scottish for her, no she didn't know what that was, and wasn't Googling it, thank you very much.
# Seagetagrip 2012-12-21 09:00
More garbage from Gardham in the Herald this morning re waiting lists. Carefully selected picture of Alex Neil to back up the garbage. Only one comment sofar from their pet Unionist.
# Big Eye 2012-12-21 09:21
When the oil runs out it runs out. So it still runs out if we are still tied to Westminster. The real question is what happens to Scotland in the next fifty or so years while it is left? Do we continue to hand this wealth to Westminster for them to determine or do we vote Yes and use it to build up the Scottish economy to make sure Scotland has a bright future after oil?

CPPR have form for coming up with papers on topics and forecasts that seem designed to help the No campaign. So nobody should be surprised about this. Well done Mr Kemp for ensuring that they are being questioned!
# amfraeembro 2012-12-21 09:43
I believe there's a lot more than 50 yrs worth left. a) It's in the interest of the oil companies to underestimate reserves b) developing technologies can extract previously inaccessible reserves c) rising oil prices make these more viable and d) we haven't even started on the Atlantic yet.
# rabb 2012-12-21 11:12
Quoting amfraeembro:
I believe there's a lot more than 50 yrs worth left. a) It's in the interest of the oil companies to underestimate reserves b) developing technologies can extract previously inaccessible reserves c) rising oil prices make these more viable and d) we haven't even started on the Atlantic yet.

Good point!

I'm sure that there's some government directive that doesn't allow drilling down the west coast as it's the playground for nuclear subs. Once we have gotten rid of them there's a new oil boom waiting on the west coast.

Scottish oil will not run out anytime soon and market forces will dictate that the only place oil prices will go is up.
# gus1940 2012-12-21 17:25
Don't forget that no drilling has yet been allowed on land.
# hiorta 2012-12-21 10:02
The Unionist Wishing Well (often mistaken for a Think Tank)
has just three components with which to hope to undermine Scotland.
Too wee, too stupid and too poor.

These wee fellas have been getting severely overworked of late as desperation grows and correspondingly , chances of a rewarding Gong diminishes as the wishers fail to impress again and again
# Barontorc 2012-12-21 10:20
Given that this is an academic spat between Prof Kemp and the already trashed CPPR, John McLaren,et al,it will never be reported by our New World Order media.

Anybody with a head on their shoulders can see there's a positive dynamic operating in the oil sector; the price of oil will most certainly go up not down;Scotland would be heaps better off with the oil revenue coming into Edinburgh than London, no matter if it's 1.5 trillion or even the third-less, pessimistic 1 trillion forecast by the nutcase CPPR; and as already highlighted if put through any SWAT analysis, the loss to the rUK economy of oil would be catastrophic - yet nary a mention - ostrich-like behaviour, or simply illogical and perversely absurd denial?
# pictic-1 2012-12-21 10:51
The North Sea has solid investment and plenty of oil and gas for many, many years to come, so it's scaremongering time again with all the help they can get from unionist pals willing to get their stick in.

As a layman can anyone give us an idea of what's happening to the west of Shetland/Orkney and the Hebrides. The continental shelf goes quite a long way out into the Atlantic and apart from the odd bit of info I'm not sure about the amount of exploration going on there.
Westminster wouldn't be able to get their claws into that part of the world after 2014.
# Breeks 2012-12-21 10:59
John Jappy's comments about Scottish surplus pre-date our oil revenues. We were in surplus even before oil, and with diligent stewardship, I'm quite sure we can be again.

In between, something catastrophic has happened to our economy that we now need oil to offset our 'share' of a deficit. The dominant story should not be the oil running out, but the betrayal and systemic mismanagement of our economic development. We cannot and should not avoid comparison between what Norway has achieved with it's oil resource and what Scotland has to show for ours.

We have Westminster government to thank for the difference, damned by every line written in their own hand in the McCrone Report.

I don't care what the current Unionist 'scare story of the week' is. Even their darkest threat is not equal to some £900billion in 40 years; my own stab at the economic difference between Scotland and Norway for which we have Westminster to thank.
# drumsmudden 2012-12-21 11:41
Do not forget the proven oil reserves in the Clyde estuary which cannot be exploited due to the nuclear subs passing up and down these waters.
Just another part of the union dividend.
# UpSpake 2012-12-21 11:53
Bloomberg reported in the summer on the absolutely massive reserves of oil and gas being sourced around the Falkland Isles. In excess of 1 Billion barrels.
The Falklands is a British Protectorate and therefore part protected by Scotland.
When the reserves are proven and the drilling begins in earnest the prospect for the Falkland islanders is similar to that of Sheltand.
The day that the focus shifts to the South Atlantic will be the day that the 'pressure' comes off the sadly depleted reserves in the North Sea.
Greedy London will still want the benifit of both but hopefully by then, enough of us will have wisened up to their lies and duplicity and shown them the final red card.
Why the SNP don't have a proper strategy on this I haven't a clue.
We should immediately jump down the throats of all the doomsayers and negative spinners each time nonsense like that above is aired.
# Ped 2012-12-21 12:18
Into the realms of silliness? Do you honestly believe that an Independent Scotland would have legitimate colonial claims on the Falklands when the UK's claims are already disputed?
# drumsmudden 2012-12-21 12:00
When these WMD have departed from the Clyde along with the thousands of imported workers I am sure the 563 or so
local people employed will find ample scope for their talents in the explotation of this oil source.
Perhaps Armstrong and McLaren would be better employed doing a service for their country in exploring the potential
for jobs in this field.
# RTP 2012-12-21 12:03
Statoil to create 700 jobs in North Sea development

According to McLaren oil is running out then why is company spending all this money in the North Sea.
# steveb 2012-12-21 17:30
Yep, good old Statoil. The Norwegian reminder of what could be. Has announced it is to invest 4.5billion pounds in its east of Shetland activities.
700 new jobs!
They must be "aff thur heids", dont they listen to the CPPR?
# rhymer 2012-12-21 12:13
Amazing how Labour supporters and the BBC can combine to produce rather obviously tainted statistics and then have the BBC pretend that they not lies. Why oh why does the BBC continue to publish/broadcast lies from the uk unionist parties as real news - are they trying to make their reputation even worse than it is now ?
C'mon auntie, we pay our licence fee to get truthful and accurate coverage, not Westminster propaganda.
# samizdat 2012-12-21 13:47
Mr Mclaren is regularly wheeled out on newsnicht whenever the BBC is looking for some one to search out a big black cloud to obscure the silver lining, has labour associations 'nuff said!
BBC Scotland has a stable of naysayers McLaren,Midwint er etc etc that would have us on suicide watch if we took a blind bit of notice of them.
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-21 14:23
Angus, "Dis-information is a major part of the NO campaign."

No Angus, it IS the No campaign.

They seem only to open their mouth to change feet.
# Seagetagrip 2012-12-21 14:34

Took part in a Beeb Documentary a dozen years ago for Gaelic Department the subject being oil to West of Hebrides. The oil deposits West of Hebrides are huge! Why do you think that ex SAS guys were rushing to stick Union Flags on Rockall? You, of course, will not read about it in the Unionist press and the prgramme is probably in the Beebs dustbin along with the McCrone Report.
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-21 15:01
Many years ago, right after the start of the oil boom, the heads of the "seven sisters" ie top global oil companies made a joint televised presentation to acknloedge the Glasgow Professor who pointed them to North Sea exploration.

I can't remember the Profs name, but he explained to these top executives in his speech that his analysis showed that there were likely to be hugh deposits of oil in the North Sea Scottish sector and gas in the English sector.

He then went on to explain that although oil deposits were huge in the North Sea, he expected the west of Scotland deposits to be massive by comparrison. These predicted deposits are the ones only now beginning to be exploited.

He was a very very clever Professor. The heads of the seven sisters metaphoriclly sat at his feet open mouthed, absorbed his lecture, then went on to prove his wisdom.

Oh that our crop of todays "profs" were able to hold a candle to such wisdom.
# cuckooshoe 2012-12-21 15:06
Everyone may be interested in this report about expected revenues from oil and gas fields 50 miles west of the Outer Hebrides.. So far no oil and gas has been extracted from the sector known as SEA7..

This is the DTI webpage

Scroll to the last item called - SEA7 Socio-economics - download the pdf file..

On page 42, paragraph 9.17 says -
If we make the simple assumption that gas and oil production from the SEA 7 fields will last for an average of 15 years, the average annual tax revenues would range from £315 million at $30 per barrel to £745 million at $60 per barrel.

While on page 43, paragraph 9.19 says -
Our estimates suggest that any SEA 7 fields could make a very significant contribution to UK government revenues during their lifetimes.
# rob4i 2012-12-21 15:14
keep it coming stupid Unionists, keep it coming. The Scottish nation know EXACTLY what you are about and it is all being kept to fire at you closer to the referendum, so please NO campaign keep on being the dumb idiots that you are and it will suit us fine thank you very much!
# call me dave 2012-12-21 15:28
Blether with Brian's BBC radio road show today disagrees with you because the unionist set claimed the NO vote was in the bag!

That's a bold statement but that's what they believe.

Never mind oil's well that ends well.
# clootie 2012-12-21 15:47
I have been offshore for over 34 years. Recovery of reserves at the start was 33/34% and this has increased steadily to well over 50/55%. I have yet to see a field fail to go at least 10 to 15 years over it's original design life. Existing fields are being re-developed to take them well into 2030.

The West of Shetland fields become ever more viable as the infrastructure is developed.

The main history lesson I think we should share with our fellow Scots is the hugh waste of a nations resource in the late 70's and early 80's. We flared off and wasted almost a third of the North Sea gas reserves to get the oil as Westminster was desperate for the income. Had the fields been managed in Scotlands long term interest we would probably have a couple of decades of peak gas production still available.

We did get the M25 though.
# Davy 2012-12-21 16:51
Fellow "Servants of Scotland", I am sure those of us of a more mature age can easily remember being told ever since the 70's that North sea oil would run out within 10 -15 years and still the unionist underlings peddle the same bollox's and that is all it is BOLLOXS.

I reckon when my 8 yearold son is in his fiftys they will be talking about the next 50 years of oil production in Scottish waters and remembering how independence in 2016 allowed Scotland to prosper and grow into one of the worlds leading innovative, forward looking country, with its people full of confidence and spirit and with the knowledge they have 'nae limits'to their ambitions.

So din'a allow these scare mongers to down our country and its resources, take them on in the papers, on the net and in the street.

Be a "Servant of Scotland" for surely their is nothing that has higher honour, nor satisfaction.

Alba Gu Brath.
# Diabloandco 2012-12-21 18:57
# Roll_On_2011 2012-12-21 19:08
This is not the first time CPPR has been caught out peddling biased garbage:

Joan McAlpine, AKA ‘Go Lassie Go’, also has an article on these ‘talking heads’:
# clootie 2012-12-21 20:18

I appreciate the link to the Joan McAlpine story. I knew of a few links but I didn't realise it was quite so bad! (I should have known better)
# Edulis 2012-12-21 20:30
The Mariner field will have investment in £billions from the Scottish company Cairn Oil and.... Statoil. That would be the Norwegian public sector oil company whose profits (not just tax) accrue to the Governemnt. The depressing thing about Scotland even with Independence is that we have a long way to climb back not just with oil but with whisky and even wind energy, all of which are largely owned by foreign companies and even governments. That is the legacy of Thatcher and the Unionists. It started in the fifties when the Tories went for open borders and the American companies like Caterpiller came in for a period. This was continued by all Westminster governments into the Silicon Glen period.
I can't believe a Scottish government would have privatised Britoil for instance. Of course it would have been called Scotoil.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-12-21 20:52
Aye Edulis

If only…. Scotoil.

In June of this year:

Then we have today.

Do Statoil not know that oil is on its way out and will only last another few years?
# Ready to Start 2012-12-22 10:36
Aye and the day after front page banner headlines for a discredited think tank piece on how oil revenues running out fast how do our national newspapers of record treat the Mariner field news with its 700 jobs?

Scotsman on page 33 Herald on page 7.
# pictic-1 2012-12-21 21:10
@ seagetegrip
@Jim Johnston

Thanks for the info guys.

The N. Sea oil industry is the glamour girl of the economy for Scotland and 2014 can't come quick enough.

What isn't shouted out from the rooftops is the fact that the N Sea with all its potential now and the next 20-50 years is still only about half of what is actually to be found around Scotland. The McCrone Report was about the N. Sea. The Atlantic side has hardly been scratched. This is where I think the SNP, the YES Team and all these "dangerous" cybernats ;-)should be getting their teeth into it.

Scream it out ...!
# Blanco 2012-12-21 21:14
Well, the oil won't last forever, but what makes me laugh about this report is that it states Scotland is only in comparative advantage to England until 2014/15... Wonder if they waited till they knew the referendum timing before coming up with this date!
# Robabody 2012-12-21 21:58
Ha,Ha,Ha - best laugh so far this Christmas. The Oil's running out......again! Did they write this stuff for Private Fraser of "we're aw doomed" fame?

Good job my Gaelic map arrived today (thanks NNS) something decent to read.
# hadrianswall 2012-12-21 22:58
Has any country discovered oil and extracted it all?
# rabb 2012-12-21 23:49
It absolutely sickens me to think that unionist politicians peddle this tripe about oil running out "imminently" and that we need to stick together when oil companies are investing not tens of millions, not hundreds of millions but billions in North sea oil fields.
I'm more inclined to believe the oil companies than a bunch of halfwits that can't even manage a train service!!

Can any sane "Better Together" politician honestly stand in front of me and argue this case? On yer bike the lot of you.

And to think we haven't even began tapping the oil reserves in the west coast.

This makes me even more motivated to spread the Yes message and ensure that we take back not just oil & gas but the sovereignty of our blessed country!!
# Barontorc 2012-12-22 00:23
You're right Rabb - they put their money where their mouth is - these damp-squib UK nonentities are all piss and hot-air. I will relish the experience to see somebody put them totally in their place with such a comment - "on yer bike ya numbskull torag!"
# Embra 2012-12-22 02:49

Another great speech by AS
# John SJ 2012-12-22 09:55
In the same week that our Secretary of State is touring the world telling them that Scotland is so much better off in the United Kingdom, a company from a small independent country called Statoil of Norway is to create 700 jobs developing the Mariner North Sea Oilfield in UK waters.

If Norway had only been part of a much larger union, its economy had not been burdened by the problem of owning so much highly volatile North Sea Oil and having to add millions annually from their oil revenue to the growing £550 billion fund set up to cope with the situation when the oil eventually runs out, they could have been just like Scotland.

The average Norwegian must really be jealous of us Scots when he looks at us across the North Sea Oil Fields and sees how much we benefit from being in the United Kingdom.
# call me dave 2012-12-22 11:14
What! No Douglas Fraser section today. Wonder why, probably no news to report on. Oh . . Wait OIL Ah well.
# Soloman 2012-12-22 11:24
Stop Press Englands natural resources are about to run out! Can someone now explain what income streams will replace this exhausted revenue?
# sneckedagain 2012-12-22 11:31
The Sun is reportiung a huge boost to the "British economy" from the Norwegian investment in Scotland's North Sea oil fields
# gopher3 2012-12-22 12:17
@ Soloman

Wind & Wave power + Oil, courtesy of Scotland.

That's why they're so against Scottish Independence.

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