Calls for oil fund increase after yet another major discovery

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The SNP have repeated their calls for an oil fund to be set up following the announcement of yet another major oil discovery in the Scottish sector of the North Sea.

The announcement by German firm Wintershall comes only days after Nobel Prize winning economist Professor Josef Stiglitz accused successive UK governments of having “squandered” North Sea oil wealth.  The former Chief Economist of the World Bank said it was “imperative” that a fund be set up in order to ensure that future generations benefit and are not left “impoverished”.

 

The SNP have repeated their calls for an oil fund to be set up following the announcement of yet another major oil discovery in the Scottish sector of the North Sea.

The announcement by German firm Wintershall comes only days after Nobel Prize winning economist Professor Josef Stiglitz accused successive UK governments of having “squandered” North Sea oil wealth.  The former Chief Economist of the World Bank said it was “imperative” that a fund be set up in order to ensure that future generations benefit and are not left “impoverished”.

The discovery, around 150 miles east of Aberdeen, is estimated to hold between 60 and 100 million barrels of oil and would equate to over $7billion at today’s price.  This find comes just a few short months after the last major discovery in Scottish waters, catcher, was announced by EnCore Oil.

Encore estimates up to 300 million barrels of oil in place at Catcher, including East and North, with significant further upside from the undrilled prospects on the block.  Aside from Catcher, EnCore will also look to develop Cladhan in the North Sea, after an earlier discovery. The Cladhan appraisal well has just begun and is being drilled as a side-track to the original discovery well.

Commenting, SNP Brian Adam said:
“The oil industry has contributed a great deal to Scotland, especially in Aberdeen, and it’s showing no sign of drying up despite the pessimistic view taken by the London Parties in the 70’s, which still continues today.

“Over the course of the summer we have seen two major discoveries in North Sea, plus the GERS report which showed that with independence Scotland would see a budget surplus of over £1 Billion, whilst the UK struggles with a mammoth £50 Billion deficit. Even the most hardened unionist cannot deny that the financial case for independence couldn’t be any stronger.

“On Tuesday, Professor Stiglitz said that the SNP was “absolutely right” on the need for an Oil Fund, the UK Government has ‘squandered’ Scotland’s oil, that current situation is unsustainable and that an Oil Fund was now “imperative”.

“The unionist parties must put aside their petty party politics and start putting the interest of Scotland, and its people, first before it’s too late.”

Martin Bachmann, a member of Wintershall’s board responsible for exploration and production, said:
“We see a lot of life in the North Sea.

“The oil majors are dropping their investments and are off to drill in Brazil, but we think there is still a lot of potential in the region.”

He added that current production off Norway and the northern part of the North Sea is 4,000 barrels a day but that the firm is aiming for 50,000 barrels a day by 2015.

By 2015 Westminster is expected to have reduced the Scottish block grant by around 25%.

The interview with Professor Stiglitz.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LnPL96D72M{/youtube}

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