OPEC Secretary General: Scotland Should Stay in UK

OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem el-Badri has said that Scotland should remain part of the UK, questioning how long North Sea oil and gas will last.

Quoted in an article published in UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph Monday, Badri said that although next year's referendum – due to take place on September 18 2014 – has "nothing to do with OPEC", he warned that most of North Sea oil and gas "is depleted now".

The view is at odds with that of Scottish Nationalists, who believe that the North Sea has plenty of years ahead of it and that oil and gas will play a key role in making Scottish independence viable. At Houston's Offshore Technology Conference in May, Scottish Energy Minister (and Scottish Nationalist Party member) Fergus Ewing MSP said that North Sea oil and gas production can continue until the end of this century provided the right government policy decisions are made.

At the time Ewing cited the BP's Clair Ridge project, which is seeing the company further develop the Clair field with the aim of extending production there until 2055, as an example of the North Sea's longevity as a hydrocarbon basin.

More recently, at Aberdeen's Offshore Europe conference early last month UK Chancellor George Osborne criticized those advocating Scottish independence, warning: "When you hear big numbers bandied around that aren't impartial and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com


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gary | Oct. 10, 2013
for years the negative information about scotlands reserves have been appearing on a regular basis in the press.i work in the industry. the oil companies wouldnt be spending the incredible amounts of money they are spending at the moment if they could see the oil running out.in a recent article the newest estimate is $768 BILLION.of oil and gas is still to be extracted.this doesnt take in to account west of shetland reserves still to being discovered daily.the north sea sector is very healthy and will remain so whether we have independence or not.

Ruby Roberts | Oct. 8, 2013
I feel that Badri, along with many others, is missing the point around Scottish independence. This is not an issue focused on whether there is enough oil or not but rather a much more important issue focusing on the right to make to a democratic future for Scotland. Something that is the choice of the Scottish people. It is also very patronizing to suggest that Scotland has nothing else to offer its people and the rest of the world other than oil. What about whiskey, renewables, tourism, financial services, food & drink, fishing, IT, farming, manufacturing, creative industries, construction, global transport, engineering and world leading research? As someone who attended and spoke at the recent OE, I have no fear of the oil industry suddenly disappearing after the referendum. Oil is in the Scottish blood, it shant vanish over some scaremongering.

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