Today, the BBC Scotland website did a piece on growth in the Scottish oil and gas sector with barely a sign of a ‘but’. They’ve let one or two such reports slip through, over the past year or so. If they’d only had a word with Reporting Scotland, they’d have got a big contribution from them along the lines of ‘ah but, thousands have jobs were lost in 2016’ or ‘ah but, the UK treasury got no tax revenue in 2016’ and then a repeat of that prediction from the Edinburgh University professor saying it won’t last long. Remember:
An Edinburgh University Professor says North Sea oil and gas has only ten years left while the Wall Street Journal describes it as an ‘oil hot spot’ and Oil and Gas UK doesn’t recognise his figures. Who’s right?
Anyhow, they didn’t and headlined:
‘Oil and gas production predicted to increase’
It was still a bit hesitant compared to Insider and Energy Voice, who went for:
‘North Sea output expected to beat forecasts’
‘North Sea operators to deliver 2.8billion barrels extra, OGA says’
They went on to say:
‘The oil and gas industry regulator has raised its forecast of what can be recovered from the waters around the UK over the next three decades. Changes in the way the sector operates are thought to have unlocked the potential for a further 2.8 billion barrels of oil or the gas equivalent. It is now estimated that 11.7 billion barrels could be recovered between 2016 to 2050.’
That’s a bit pessimistic compared to this, from the Torygraph ten years ago, and before the recent technological advances and lowered costs:
‘Dr Richard Pike, a former oil industry consultant and now the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “Rather than only getting 20 to 30 billion barrels [from the North Sea] we are probably looking at more than twice that amount.” His analysis is supported by petroleum experts who believe there are some 300 fields off the coast of Britain still to be explored and tapped properly. If energy prices continue to soar, companies will become increasingly willing to tap previously uneconomic oil fields. Dr Pike claims that the industry knows the true figures but refuses to release them because of commercial secrecy.’
Mind you, even the 11.7 billion barrels at the current going rate of £76pb means gross income of $889 billion for producers and several billion in tax revenue for a Scottish treasury.
The BBC report also mentions in passing: ‘More than 43 billion barrels have been extracted from UK waters so far.’ Again, even at today’s prices, which are lower than in the past, that was $3.2 trillion and many billions of tax revenue, which paid for Thatcher’s de-industrialisation of the UK and for building the infrastructure of London and the South. I suppose the webmaster will be too young to remember that.