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27 August 2010

'Oil Discovery Only Adds To Overwhelming Case For Independence' - Stevenson

OIL FUND FOR SCOTLAND NOW ‘IMPERATIVE’

Following on from reports today (Friday) of a ‘major’ discovery of oil in the North Sea, Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has renewed calls for a Scottish Oil Fund to be established.

Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist of the World Bank Prof. Josef Stiglitz, said on BBC Scotland’s Newsnight programme on Tuesday (24th August) that the UK had “squandered" it's oil wealth and that it is now "imperative" an oil fund is established to secure the wealth that remains under the North Sea for future generations.

The discovery, made by German firm Wintershall yesterday, of up to 100 million barrels of oil would equate to, at today’s oil prize, to over $7billion. This comes just a few short months since the last major discovery in Scottish waters in June, when up to 300 million barrels were discovered by EnCore Oil.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“The oil industry has contributed a great deal to Scotland, especially in the North-east, 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 it’s people, first before it’s too late.”
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