Friday 21st October 2016                 Change text size:

PM unveils plans to boost Scottish oil industry ‘if the UK stays together’

Berardo62 via Flickr

David Cameron will discuss a £200 billion oil and gas revolution in Aberdeen but has warned that an improvement of the industry would be possible only if Scotland remains in the United Kingdom.

Oil price volatility from the North Sea oil industry might suffer as a result of Scottish independence, as a small country would be unable to cope with the industry’s needs and issues.

Scotland will hold a referendum in September to vote whether or not it wants to stay within the UK. Recent polls have found that people are most likely to say no to independence.

David Cameron is set to take advantage of the public feeling and discuss a plan to boost the oil industry, by setting up a new regulating body and encouraging cooperation between companies.

The government has insisted that Scotland needs the ‘broad shoulders’ of the UK to make the oil and gas sector thrive, and therefore should reconsider its aspiration to become independent from the rest of the country.

Cameron said, “For the past 300 years, Britain has led the way in finding new sources of energy.

“It is the strength of the UK’s broad-based economy which can make the difference and ensure we can invest in our energy for the long-term future.”

He added, “I promise we will continue to use the UK’s broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race”.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael told Sky News, “It’s a very positive story for the oil and gas industry as part of the United Kingdom, if people want to walk away from that positive story then it is for the nationalists to explain why they should do that.

These measures could boost the production by up to 4 billion barrels, according to Cameron, and would help the sector to recover, after its productivity experienced a sharp decline in the 2000s.

Friends of the Earth economics campaigner David Powell commented on the PM’s plans, “Before the flood waters have receded, the Prime Minister has already moved on from being concerned about climate change and gone back to wooing the oil and gas industry.

“Squeezing every last drop of oil from the North Sea will increase the risk of more extreme weather like we have seen in recent weeks.”

Further reading:

Scottish independence paper: ‘we need to build renewable wealth’

One year until Scottish independence vote: sustainability news round-up

Survey: North Sea oil and gas industry at risk

UK pumps £13.5bn into oil and gas to combat rapidly declining production

Government promotes oil and gas investment as ‘vital for energy security’

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