Scotland VS England on the energetic issues of the North Sea

mar del norte

 

London, England, February 27th, 2014.- Scotland’s announcement of independence has put on the table several issues such as keeping pound as the local currency, whether or not Scotland will be part of the European Union and the main issue: oil and gas substantial reserves in the North Sea.

 

Scotland’s Prime Minister Alex Salmond and England’s Prime Minister David Cameron met in Aberdeen, Scotland, after 90 years of not doing so, with the purpose of announcing England’s investment to support the energy industry and to strengthen the economy, as well as keeping the profits that will be generated by oil and gas in the further decades.

 

In a private meeting in Portlethen, Salmond gathered with his cabinet to talk about Scotland’s future, following Norway’s example, which later led to the discovery of vast resources within its territory. The Scottish Prime Minister has applied his knowledge in the energy sector; since he was an analyst of these topics back in the 1980’s.

 

The referendum about Scotland’s independence must be approved on September and it would mean the biggest political hit to Britain. This is Cameron’s main reason for wanting to reach an agreement that doesn’t mark him as the Prime Minister who let Great Britain fracture itself.

 

Behind this political matter, the main theme is the energy issue and who would administrate better the natural resources in the North Sea. The British government has announced an investment of 100 million pounds –around 167 million dollars-, in a gas-fired carbon capture and storage facility in Peterhead.

 

It also promised a new energy regulator and licenses changes for exploitation to maximize the recovery of the remaining energy supplies.

 

Salmond declares that during the British administration resources have been poorly exploited. In an interview with the BBC, he said that in 10 years there have been 16 new tax changes affecting the industry, and 14 ministers of energy in 17 years. This confirms the British lack of control in the sector.

 

The oil and gas substantial reserves in Great Britain are located in the northern part of the country or even farther north around the Shetland Islands. Lindsay Wexelstein, a Wood Mackenzie analyst, points out that 85% of remaining reserves are in Scotland’s territorial waters.

 

A government report established that 94% of the oil and gas tax receipts belong to Scotland, amounting nearly 18 billion dollars. An estimated of 42 billion barrels have already been produced and there may be 24 billion barrels left, which could be worth more than 2 trillion dollars.

 

Whoever gains the control will manage the industry, according to a British government report published by Ian Wood, also pointing out that even if the investments are historical, the production fell 40% since 2010, and for the past 2 years exploration had poor results with 150 million barrels produced.

 

Mexican Business Web, with media information

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