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Oil concerns warrant serious response from First Minister

August 20, 2014 5:30 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, SirSir Robert SmithSir Robert Smith Robert Smith, has said that new concerns over Alex Salmond's oil predictions raised by Sir Ian Wood warrant a serious response.

Sir Ian Wood, former chair of the Wood group and author of a major review into the UKCS, today warned that Alex Salmond's predictions are up to 60 percent to high. Sir Ian Wood also said that a series of factors meant he concluded that "an independent Scotland will lose out badly on our energy economics."

Commenting, Mr Smith said:

"Whilst I'm sure many nationalists will be disappointed to hear that Sir Ian Wood does not support their independence beliefs, few will question his knowledge and success within the oil and gas industry. Indeed, it is his decades of experience at the heart of the industry which has led him to conclude that Scotland's energy sector is better served as part of the wider UK family.

"Sir Ian Wood's comments will not make for easy reading for Alex Salmond. With only weeks until the vote, Alex Salmond's questionable oil assertions have been brought under the magnifying glass by Sir Ian Wood's credible experience. As a voice listened to by many in the industry, his concerns warrant a serious response.

"Oil revenues would represent around one fifth of an independent Scotland's tax take, but the broad shoulders of the UK means we can better weather the future storms of a volatile and ultimately finite resource. Remaining part of the UK gives Scotland more opportunities to reinvest in Scotland's changing energy industry and to maintain its position as a world leader for oil and gas expertise."