Darling oil blunder reveals Project Fear panic
Speaking on Reporting Scotland, Mr Darling said that “He [Alex Salmond] inflated the amount that he thinks is left in the North Sea to something like 12 times what the independent experts say”
However, the figure used by Mr Salmond of 24 billion barrels is an accepted industry figure, and was even used in the UK Government’s own oil and gas strategy published in March.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside Mark McDonald said:
“Yet again, the No campaign seem to be falling over themselves in their desperation to attack anything said by the SNP.
“Alistair Darling’s claim that there are only 2 billion barrels of oil left in the North Sea is absolutely ridiculous – contradicting even the UK Government – and he should withdraw it immediately.
“We simply cannot believe a word that Project Fear say. They are panicked by the success of Scotland’s North Sea oil industry, which they are desperately trying to claim is somehow a burden on Scotland.”
Mr McDonald also welcomed the announcement today from Chevron energy that it had awarded contracts worth over half a billion pounds for its Alder and Rosebank projects to companies including Aker Solutions in his Aberdeen Donside constituency.
Chevron’s press release quotes UK Minister Michael Fallon who – in stark contrast to rhetoric elsewhere from the anti-independence campaign – said that “the North Sea is seeing a resurgence of investment” and “The Rosebank and Alder projects are worth billions of pounds and will unlock significant new oil and gas reserves.”
Mr McDonald added:
“This is fantastic news for Aker Solutions and I warmly congratulate them on being awarded this contract.
“On the very day that the No campaign is peddling the same old fears to the people of Scotland about the future of the oil industry, a UK Government Minister is telling a different audience about a ‘resurgence of investment’ which will unlock new oil and gas reserves.
“As today’s detailed Scottish Government paper makes clear, the North Sea oil industry has a very bright future, but only with the right handling –which is what independence offers.”
The UK Government used the 24 billion barrels figure in their oil & gas strategy published in Marchhttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil…
It notes: There is a large enough resource base to feed supply chain field development and operations to well beyond 2050: over 41 billion barrels of oil equivalent have been recovered from the UK, but a further recovery of 15-24 billion barrels could be achieved with further new investment.