For many, the goal of independence itself overrides any fears of economic consequences. But faced with a vote that will have a huge impact on future generations, I believe that is a luxury we cannot afford. The key question has to be whether or not we will be better off or poorer as a separate country.
Economic and political dynamite is the only way to describe the new report by N-56, an admittedly pro-independence think tank, that suggests that the remaining tax revenue from North Sea oil and gas could be £300billion beyond its former upper estimate of £365billion that could be garnered to 2040.
North-east oil services tycoon Sir Ian Wood has warned that Scots voters were being misled and influenced by highly inaccurate forecasts, false promises and misleading information about Scotland’s black gold reserves.
A vote for independence in Scotland may halt work on renewable power projects that support £14billion ($23billion) of investment and 12,000 jobs by raising questions about how developers would get subsidies, an energy supplier said.
Green Energy Plc, which sells electricity to almost 20,000 customers in the UK, said breaking up the union between England and Scotland in a referendum on Sept. 18 would force the two countries to negotiate how to divide payment for electricity.
The Scottish Sun had a double-page spread entitled “£600bn – that’s a fracking fortune”. This is based on a report by a pressure group called N-56 which claims that 21-42 billion barrels of oil equivalent could be extracted from unconventional hydrocarbon deposits in the North sea using fracking technology. The claimed tax take is £3-600 billion. It is an attractive idea – enough for one Sun journalist to switch his vote from No to Yes. Sadly, it is largely nonsense.
Former chancellor of the exchequer and leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling warned a successful vote for Scottish independence was a “one way ticket to an uncertain destination” for the UK and the North Sea oil and gas industry.
An independent Scotland will negotiate to claw back “substantial” historic oil revenues in order to ensure it can maintain decommissioning tax credits promised by the UK Government, an expert has claimed.
An independent Scotland faces a basic income tax rate of 30% or 5% cuts to public spending across the board when new oil and gas estimates from one of the industry’s most respected figures are taken into account, according to Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown has urged Scots to “think twice” before backing independence as he issued a stark warning that oil cash would only pay for a “fraction” of public services if the country left the UK.
Yesterday we discovered a massive black hole in Alex Salmond’s economic case for independence. Sir Ian Wood, one of the world’s foremost oil industry experts, issued a clear warning about the Scottish Government’s projections for North Sea oil extraction. He said that their prediction that 24 billion barrels of oil still remain to be extracted from the North Sea is between 45% and 60% too high. His view is that the correct figure is between 15 and 16.5 billion barrels remaining.
This week Energy Voice exclusively sat down with Sir Ian Wood when the industry veteran broke his silence regarding the monumental September 18 vote for the first time ever. Here is a round-up of some additional highlights from the exclusive interview, where he discusses the likelihood of an oil fund, the role of decommissioning and the future of onshore exploration.
Sir Ian Wood’s explosive intervention in the independence debate is being hailed by Labour as “the most important moment of the campaign”.
Energy Voice’s exclusive interview with the Aberdeen-based oil services businessman set the agenda in the referendum battle on Thursday, dominating first minister’s questions at Holyrood.