MSP calls for OPEC to move HQ to Aberdeen after independence

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International oil body Opec should move its headquarters to Aberdeen if Scotland becomes independent, it was claimed yesterday.

The hugely powerful intergovernmental organisation is comprised of a dozen countries from the Middle East, Africa and South America who control about two-thirds of the world’s oil.

It is currently based at Vienna in Austria, but SNP MSP Kevin Stewart believes it should consider moving to the Granite City after independence, or at least set-up a satellite office in Aberdeen.

He also said international renewable energy groups ought to think about the city as a base after independence.

The idea from the Aberdeen Central MSP coincided with comments from Nationalist MP Angus Robertson, who highlighted the major jobs and economic opportunities for an independent Scotland from the opening of new embassies, high commissions and residences.

The pro-UK Better Together campaign said the independence side was in “trouble” if its economic case “rests on claiming more countries will open up offices”.

Mr Stewart said: “There’s no reason why Aberdeen couldn’t fulfil a role as a home for all kinds of organisations.

“You look at Vienna and Opec – how is Opec in Vienna? Austria is not known for its energy production.

“Why not bid for an HQ or satellite office in Aberdeen?”

Mr Robertson, the MP for Moray, raised the issue while on a trip to Vienna yesterday.

He said: “Austria has a remarkable track record as a similarly-sized country to Scotland which makes the most of its international potential with independence.

“There are more than 300 embassies and multilateral diplomatic missions and an additional wide range of international organisations.”

A Better Together spokesman said: “The Nationalists really are in trouble if their economic case rests on claiming more countries will open up offices here if we leave the UK.

“Angus Robertson should explain to people in Scotland why we should turn our back on being part of one of the largest diplomatic networks in the world, which supports Scottish businesses and travellers abroad, for a much reduced service if we leave the UK. It makes no sense.”