Industry report: Scotland set for 100 year oil boom West of Shetland

Increased oil investment in Scotland's Atlantic waters has led to a growth in the strength of Scotland's oil and gas sector. In recent months reports have focus on the new Clair Ridge field, a massive £4.5 billion oil investment project.

A new industry report goes even further and estimates that these recent investments represent only a fraction of a 100 year oil boom for Scotland's Atlantic Margin.

The report, commissioned by Oil and Gas People, the world's largest oil and gas industry jobs board, with support from North Sea oil and gas industry experts, conclude that untapped oil and gas in the West Coast will last for at least 100 years, with a whole value of more than £1 trillion.

Investors Chronicle reported that politicians in Westminster were underestimating the value of Scotland's oil and gas to undermine the case for Scottish independence. Former Chancellor Dennis Healey admitted that this ploy was used in the 1970s.

Atlantic Margin can substantially enhance Scotland's finances

Such an expansion in West Coast oil and gas would be as significant an economic transformation as the original explosion in North Sea oil and gas in the 1970s. This would also have a significant impact on Scotland's overall finances. It would give Scotland further finances in invest in the growing renewables sector, other manufacturing sectors and improve public services.

Oil rich countries such as Norway, Qatar, Kuwait have been transformed as a result of their natural resources. In contrast, Westminster Government has squandered North Sea oil and failed to establish an energy investment fund.

When contacted regarding the report, Professor John Howell, Chair in Geology and Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen has commented:

"This is another piece of work from the industry that highlights the massive unexplored potential that lies in the West of Shetland region."

Other sources in the industry include Hurricane Energy who reported that the Lancaster field has 'well exceeded expectations'. Other reports highlight the growth in production and activity across the region due to advances in exploration technology. Oil and gas investment hit a record high last year of £13 billion.

Today both Professor Alex Kemp from the University of Aberdeen and Kevin Forbes, Chief Executive of Oil and Gas People, were interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland. Both commentators agreed that this oil boom is developing with potential for long-term growth.


This is potentially one of the most important stories of the independence debate. While David Cameron has sought to play down the value of Scotland's oil, industry experts and commentators have explained how valuable it is and its importance long into the 21st century.

Voters in Scotland will decide on the 18th of September whether Scotland or Westminster should receive the tax revenue from this important resource.