Scotsman ignores the figures and chooses out-of-date comments to undermine perceptions of North Sea oil’s future prosperity


In Energy Voice yesterday, based on an Oil & Gas UK report, we read that between 12 and 16 new fields will be developed in 2018 alone. Between 2015 and 2017, an average of only 3 new fields were developed each year. Not surprisingly Energy Voice were very positive about this trend saying:

‘The fresh investment will unlock around £5billion and yield more than 450million barrels of oil and gas in the long run, Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said in its 2018 Business Outlook. Just nine new field developments were given the go-ahead from 2015-17, according to OGUK.’

Somehow, the Scotsman was able to headline:

‘North Sea oil and gas outlook remains ‘uncertain’’

And to go on to say:

‘But the report highlighted a “serious concern” about the lack of drilling in the North Sea, with 94 wells started in 2017, the lowest number since 1973.’

Somehow, the Scotsman was able to read the same Oil & Gas UK report as had Energy Voice, miss the positive trend for 2018, and come to a pessimistic view of the future.

This report from the Scotsman is a lone voice, and luckily one with a shrinking readership, when you read the considerable number of predictions of a rich and sustainable future for Scotland’s oil and gas industry already reported here:

20 years till peak demand for Scotland’s oil, time to get our share?

Billions to flow to UK Treasury as Scottish oil prices reach nearly $65 per barrel

Survey of oil industry chiefs shows confidence in North Sea doubling in one year

Scottish oil price rises are unstoppable as hedge funds pile in to invest and put ‘the oil crash behind us.’ Also, Sterling’s surge is being fuelled by oil, not a Brexit bounce .


13 thoughts on “Scotsman ignores the figures and chooses out-of-date comments to undermine perceptions of North Sea oil’s future prosperity

  1. johnrobertson834 March 21, 2018 / 9:24 am

    Here’s how the Press & Journal saw it: ‘North Sea production forecast to rise 5% in 2018’


    • macgilleleabhar March 21, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Difficult one for the Aberdeen Beano! They don’t want to be talking the oil sector down but at the same time they don’t want to be “Talking Up Scotland”


    • Alasdair Macdonald. March 21, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      The BBC Scotland line on this was the same as the Scotsman’s: the number of new wells in 2017 being the lowest ever. It did mention some other more positive aspects, but the number of new wells was the headline and first feature in the oil report. This suggests that a ‘party line’ was being pushed. Is it just a coincidence that this was being pushed on the same day as the Tory betrayal on fishing was being announced? Frighten the natives about daring to go alone, so, best to trust Westminster to manage things. Mr Bertie Anderson was not as angry as he should have been about the fishing fiasco, but then, he is a unionist and a Tory.


  2. johnrobertson834 March 21, 2018 / 9:28 am

    And Insider: ‘More oil and gas developments anticipated in 2018 than in last three years combined’


  3. Davy S March 21, 2018 / 11:08 am


    Thank you so much for the brilliant job you do on a daily basis counteracting media claims and providing context on Scotland’s behalf. A must visit site. I love it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. macgilleleabhar March 21, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    This is stolen from a Comment by “Kangaroo” on Wings,

    “““It is no good fighting an election campaign on the facts, because it’s all about emotion” – Alexander Nix CEO.
    If you recollect the last few campaigns have been won by the FEARs not the rational arguments.”

    More strength to your elbow John. I presume like many others the last few has has been an eye opener as to how much “Brainwashing “as it was known in my younger days is going on.
    If these methods of winning elections persist then it is the end of democracy.

    Paradoxically the greatest fear at the moment is in the British Establishment concerning as they put it,”The loss of Scotland” as if we were a chattel.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. johnrobertson834 March 21, 2018 / 12:52 pm

    Thanks. I agree that voters often think they’re acting rationally but their emotion-driven subconscious has already decided before the facts are considered.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Eileen Cameron-Kirby March 21, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    John – have you seen Gordon Ross’s latest video which links dark money/DUP/Brexit/Better Together/Saudi/AND the downplaying of Scottish oil? Rather a rich and somewhat unexpected juxtaposition of elements, even if we already know about most of them individually- but worth reflecting on I think:


  7. Ludo Thierry March 23, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    More good news from the Scottish Sector – from this evening’s Aberdeen evening Express:

    Apache makes multi-million barrel oil discovery in North Sea
    by Allister Thomas

    US firm Apache has announced it has made a 10 million-barrel oil discovery in the North Sea.
    The Garten discovery is four miles south of the Beryl Alpha platform, which lies around 155 miles north east of Aberdeen.
    Apache holds a 100 percent working interest in the Garten block, which marks the 2,500thexploration well in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
    The discovery will be tied back to the Beryl Alpha platform, with production expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019.

    All this activity in the Scottish Sector means Indy is more vital than ever. The britnat establishment squandered the initial Scottish Sector bonanza on tax cuts for the mega wealthy and funding the unemployment benefit to implement Thatcher’s disastrous ‘re-shaping’ of the UK economy. We Scots cannot allow the same thing to happen again. No siree.


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