How much oil would be left in an independent Scotland?

In the 2014 Scottish Referendum, there was a lot of argument about how much oil there was left in the North Sea.

Scotland has the largest oil reserves in the EU.

The SNP used a figure of 24 billion barrels of oil remaining, which seemed a sensible mid-figure using industry expert estimates. In the last 2 years, there have been over 4.5 billion barrels of new oil discoveries. At a production rate of 1 million barrels a day, the reserves will last 80 years. Not ‘close to collapse’. Next time somebody tells you the oil’s running out, ask them where they get their information. Sir Ian Wood dropped his own 24 bbl estimate to 16bbn in just 6 months, and was coincidentally knighted in 2016. Immediately after the Referendum, BP said oil reserves were “secure for decades to come”.

Since then, there have been a number of discoveries:

  • 2017 Jun Enquest Kraken field on stream 128 million barrels, 4.5% of 2017 UK liquids production
  • 2017 May Schiehallion field redeveloped – another 450 million barrels of oil, total of 850m barrels
  • 2016 Nov Pioneer 110 million c feet of gas and 14,000 bbl of gas a day in Alder field
  • 2016 Oct Cluff 4.8 trillion cubic feet of gas
  • 2016 Sep Hurricane Energy 207-400 million barrels in Lancaster field
  • 2016 Sep Maersk 250-300 million barrels of gas in Culzean field
  • 2016 Sep Engie E&P 25 – 70 million barrels in Gjoa field
  • 2016 Feb Total gas in Laggan-Tormore fields (lifespan of 20 years)
  • 2016 Aug IOG 34 million barrels of recoverable oil in Skipper well
  • 2016 Aug Premier Oil up to 2 billion barrels of heavy oil in Bagpuss & Blofeld wells
  • 2016 July Faroe Petroleum 44-80 million barrels of recoverable oil in Fensfjord
  • 2016 July EnQuest 6 million barrels in Eagle field
  • 2016 July BP Clair Ridge 640 million barrels of oil, which will produce until 2050
  • 2016 April Premier Oil 42 million barrels of oil in Solan field, producing until 2035
  • 2016 Jan Total 100 million barrels of oil in Sween field
  • 2015 Nov Apache 70 million barrels of oil in both the Beryl and Forties fields
  • 2015 Oct EnQuest 200 million barrels in Alma/Galia fields
  • 2015 Dec Shell sought consent to develop the Baroli field
  • 2015 Dec Taqa first Oil from Cladhan Field
  • 2015 Aug Chevron 240 million barrels in Rosebank field
  • 2015 Aug Statoil 250 million barrels in Mariner field
  • 2015 Mar Xcite Energy 267 million barrels of oil in Bentley field
  • 2015 Feb Dana Petroleum in the Lille-John field
  • 2014 Dec BP first oil production new 45 million barrel Kinnoull field
  • 2014 Oct BP and GDF Suez 50 million barrels of oil in Vorlich/Marconi field
  • 2014 Sep West Coast holds oil and gas fields as big if not bigger than the reserves in the North Sea

You didn’t read about these discoveries in the mainstream media? That’s a surprise!

That represents over 5 billion barrels of new discoveries – an increase of 19% since 2014, plus potentially another 8 billion barrels (another 33%) in the Minch and Firth of Clyde.

New gas and water technologies could add decades to the lifespan of oil reserves in the North Sea.

A new era is been signalled by 2 companies working together to develop so-called marginal oilfields.

Scotland’s Maritime Boundary was changed illegally in 1999 by Westminster – we want it back!

In an independent Scotland, it will be the people of Scotland, and our Scottish Government, who will decide our future policy on oil and gas – including following Norway’s policy of having a direct public investment in exploration and production, and the establishment of an oil fund.

Yes Edinburgh West has a website, Facebook, Twitter, National Yes Registry and a Library of topics on Scottish Politics, including Energy. The 2014 Referendum White Paper (p.300) and the Wee Blue Book, although dated, give a good idea of policy options.