Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scotland Decides: Independence uncertainty poses North Sea threat, warns expert

Colin Welsh, chief executive of Simmons and Co
Colin Welsh, chief executive of Simmons and Co

A leading figure in the North Sea energy sector yesterday echoed concerns over Scottish independence voiced by the chief executive of oil and gas giant BP.

Colin Welsh, chief executive officer of investment banking specialist Simmons and Co International, said the referendum was “too important” an issue to remain silent on.

The intervention follows comments from BP chief Bob Dudley, who spoke out about “uncertainties” if Scotland decides to go it alone.

Pro-union campaigners last night described the latest development as a “devastating blow” for the nationalists.

But the Scottish Government said the claims were “mistaken” – and pointed out record amounts were being invested in the sector.

Mr Welsh was speaking on the first day of Europe’s largest subsea conference at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

He said: “I wholeheartedly endorse what Bob Dudley said regarding the uncertainty that the question of independence brings to our industry and the threat that this poses to our economic future.

“This is an issue that is too important for the business community to stay silent on and the oil and gas industry needs to stand up and say what it thinks before it is too late.”

Mr Welsh said the SNP’s economic argument was based on “flawed logic”, as North Sea production was “declining fast” and plans for a reliance on renewables could “disadvantage” Scotland on the international stage.

He added: “At the same time, the SNP has ruled out fracking in an independent Scotland – a source of cheap energy that could offer enormous benefits.”

A spokesman for the pro-union Better Together campaign said: “These comments are devastating for the nationalists and their plan to break up the UK.”

But a Scottish Government spokeswoman insisted that the SNP’s economic policies were about “much more” than oil, gas and renewables.

She added: “Major oil companies already operate across many different independent countries around the world, and an independent Scotland will be no different.

“Firms currently have around £100billion worth of investment planned for the North Sea.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts