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.

Scottish Independence: Clyde “oil boom” claim dismissed

Post Thumbnail

An Aberdeen University expert has dismissed claims from a colleague at the institution over the potential for an “oil boom” in the Firth of Clyde.

David MacDonald, professor of petroleum geology, has argued John Howell’s position, based on the removal of Trident nuclear weapons from Scotland after a Yes vote, “doesn’t stack up”.

Mr Howell, who is also a professor of petroleum geology at Aberdeen, said in an article on the Press and Journal’s sister website Energy Voice that he has obtained data collected by energy giant BP from the 1980s that shows the area should be explored.

He further pointed out that the geological make-up of the Firth indicated a potential for oil and gas recovery.

But Prof MacDonald was scathing in his own assessment of the claims.

He said: “After a series of attempts to inflate Scotland’s potential reserves of oil and gas, this latest conspiracy theory about submarine movements in the Clyde simply doesn’t stack up.

“There is no evidence to suggest that submarine movements and other MoD activity has impeded Scotland’s access to its oil reserves, in the Clyde or anywhere else.

“There has been exploration in the Clyde, but oil companies have decided that any reserves are either too small or to technically challenging to be economic. The reason that there has not been widespread extraction on the west coast is because there has not been the business case for it. The notion that the MoD’s activities are the cause is fanciful.”

Mr MacDonald said there were “a number of conspiracy theories” about oil and gas reserves. He added: “None of them have any basis in evidence and all of them degrade the quality of Scotland’s debate.”

Prof Howell’s comments, meanwhile, have been welcomed by SNP Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. He said his findings confirmed there are “good targets” for exploration.

The two Aberdeen professors have previously clashed over claims by think tank N-56 that there could be a £600billion offshore fracking boom in the North Sea.

Prof MacDonald rubbished the claims, but Prof Howell spoke in support of the N-56 report.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts