OPEC Secretary General makes it quadruple doubt cast on SNP oil claims

Abdalla Salem el-Badri, Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] has told The Daily Telegraph today, 7th October, that most of the North Sea oil fields are depleted.

He dismissed the possibility of a Scottish membership of OPEC, which would leave an independent Scotland vulnerable to decisions on production and pricing made by OPEC, which meets regularly in Vienna.

With 16% of annual revenues of an independent Scotland possibly coming from the North Sea, this level of vulnerability is of serious concern.

The UK Treasury has already pointed out that First Minister Alex Salmond’s claims that there is £1.5 trillion of oil and gas reserves left in the North Sea:

  • are the most optimistic assessment
  • reflect the total wholesale value of this assessment of reserves
  • do not reflect the tax revenues this reserve would bring to the state
  • assume no cost for the extraction of this reserve.l

The Office of Budget Responsibility has predicted that oil pioces will fall back to $93 per barrel by 2017-18, where the First Minister had based his figures in the assumption of a price of $150 per barrel.

Moreover, figures published last week by HMRC for North Sea tax receipts over the past ten years showed that they were lower by an average of £600 million per annum than the estimates from the Scottish Government.

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36 Responses to OPEC Secretary General makes it quadruple doubt cast on SNP oil claims

  1. Pathetic …. of course he’s dismissed Scottish membership of OPEC, there are no members of OPEC in Europe, North America etc OPEC is mostly a middle east organisation with a few members in Africa & a couple more in South America … the old north sea fields are somewhat depleted using current tech but new tech can extract lots more with loads more fields being exploited all the time …. and many are NOT in North Sea

    Plus of course SNP claims on reserves are in line with industry ones & are an under-estimate of ALL the oil in ALL of the waters around Scotland

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 7

  2. The OBR don’t have much of a track record when it comes to predictions.

    For those who can’t be bothered clicking the link and reading the article here’s what one of the OBR triumvirate had to say in the Telegraph in March 2011:

    “The OBR forecasts oil prices to peak this year at $113 a barrel, but to remain at $107 or above through to the end of 2015.
    …But, Mr Nickell added: “Forecasting oil prices, as anyone knows, is a mug’s game.”

    Ignoring for a moment Mr. Nickell’s admission that the OBR are mugs and unable to predict oil prices it is perhaps worth noting that the 2011 ‘prediction’ suggested no significant price drop before 2016. Now oil prices are forecast to plummet (co-incidentally I’m sure) just after the referendum.

    With the OBR’s forecasts being so low compared to other sources and with the appointees being chosen by George Osbourne (subject to veto by the Treasury Select Committee) it is not wholly surprising that some are beginning to suggest that this creation of the chancellor’s is more a political tool than an impartial analytical body.

    What do the team think?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

    • I have to agree with you, as long as the English and the EU continue to sit on their shale gas and oil reserves for fear of angering the Jolly Green Giant “Carbon Manitou” the oil price is unlikely to fall much – other than with a recurrence of the recent financial debacle which even the EU appears to be recovering from.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

      • What would harnessing shale gas have to do with the price of oil. The US is now producing more oil and gas than Russia, much of this through shale extraction, yet there has been little impact on the price of crude or petrol from this massive increase in production.

        Certainly natural gas prices have gone down. But this would benefit Scotland too, as natural gas is difficult to store. If they increase supply in England, Scottish prices will go down.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        • Shale gas has plenty to do with the price of oil, for example, in the US, large plants are being installed to produce fuel for automotive transport and gas can also be used to replace oil as feedstock for chemical plants whose owners are stampeding back to the US from Asia and Europe to take advantage of it.

          US shale gas and oil will only make a difference here when infrastructure is built there to export it to other places and Centrica are first in the queue while a giant terminal is being built in Louisiana.

          As long as England and the EU sit on their own shale gas and oil reserves we shall likely continue to suffer electricity and gas prices two and three times what they currently are in the US.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. What a concocted load of nonsense from the Torygraph. What are you thinking of ForArgyll rehashing other newspapers mediocre journalism?

    Opec, as any fool knows, is a cartel of Arab and Equitorial oil producers: its current members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela

    It has NO European or North American Members and never has done. An independent Scotland would be no more at the mercy of OPEC’s whims than the UK is now.

    We would however be able to choose to spend and invest the revenues from our oilfields for the longterm benefit of our people.

    Rather poor journalism all round.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. Abdalla Salem el-Badri

    Says we canny join OPEC

    That’s it then Scotland– the games a bogey

    Glad all these oil countries are controlled by the colonialist powers!

    Forgot they are not — just us!

    How much does Scotland get for a barrel of oil just now $93, $130 ?

    Answer : $0.00

    I wonder how I could change that?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  5. Mr El-Badri, a Libyan, is quoted as saying that “an independent Scotland is unthinkable” and goes on to advise us that “Scotland should retain the Union with England.”

    How about running this past Mr El-Badri: “An independent Libya is unthinkable”; “Libya should retain its union with the Ottoman Empire” (or with Italy, or with the post WW2 British Empire – so many possibilities…)?

    And how about Mr El-Badri then running those lines past his Libyan compatriots?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  6. Looks as if newsroom would support any old guff from anyone just so long as it is against Scottish independence.

    It is not a very credible stance to adopt.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

    • yes, 2 minutes research and it would have been all to obvious how bogus story was …. even to the most blinkered unswerving unionist types

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

    • What newsroom has unwittingly pointed us towards though, is the hundreds of vile, spiteful comments posted below the Telegraph’s non-story.

      Substitute the word black, or Asian or Jewish for Scottish and many of those posting would be looking at a criminal charge.

      Presumably the Telegraph’s moderator sees no problem with this.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

      • The Telegraph is always like that. Any Scottish story attracts the racist comments like flies round a dead sheep. But then we are still “Better Together” with them. Aren’t we? As pm says, it seems to be acceptable and that is the worrying part.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

          • Sorry Andrew, am I missing something here in Scotland or might you be confusing how “We” are about the UK government based in their country rather than the people of England?
            Anti-English comments are a rarity these days only spouted by the uneducated bigot.
            Andy quite correctly cites the Telegraph in attracting certain types not overly fond of us here in Scotland but if you care to cast your net a bit further English based tabloids such as The Mail make the Telegraph look like a McTelegraph.
            The language used by ‘journalists’ such a Simon Heffer just beggars belief yet being the 2nd biggest in circulation behind The Sun feeds a huge portion of the English readers with the scrounging alcoholic subsidy junkie Scots articles.
            I often ask myself how so many in Scotland are so easily cheated when handing over their cash for their altered Scottish version of The Daily Mail, if only they could get their hands on the English Daily Mail, revolting and to someone who isn’t usually easily offended, deeply offensive.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    For the sake of historical accuracy can you confirm your inside source which you based your wee story is the Telegraph !

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  8. It’s easy to assume that Scotland would benefit – as an independent oil producer – from OPEC membership, but I lived for twelve years in an Arabian peninsula country – Oman – that had a clear policy of staying outside OPEC (but actively participating in the Gulf Cooperation Council) to preserve the ability to trade – and price – its oil exports free of outside influence and obligation. As far as I’m aware it still follows this policy, so it’s a safe bet that it’s proved the right one. Could the same philosophy be appropriate for an independent Scotland, with the accent on the independent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  9. I think Newsie is away for the day and had to find an article to put on the system before heading off.

    It’s not if anything has happened in Scotland today like the sacking of the Secretary of State for Scotland by an Englishman called Clegg http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24427138 colonial style.

    Having said that the Lairdy Tavish Scott’s fingers are over this one as well.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

      • no role & now position is filled by a man who wants the post abolished anyway I imagine Alistair Carmichael would like to go down in history as the final Scottish Secretary?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

        • Could be a popular appointment in the isles – MP for Orkney and Shetland, born and brought up in Islay!!

          Bet that news sent a shiver through the spines at Holyrood!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

    • Give Newsie time firstly to find then put a positive spin on this one H2O.
      Remember, David Cameron’s toothless cop-out in a live televised defence of a ‘NO’ vote and Newsie’s opinions following these revelations arrived a good number of days after they were made public.
      Had something similar happened in the other camp and Nicola Sturgeon today been removed from her ‘Yes’ role within the Scottish Govt. Newsie would have had an absolute field day, pronto!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • It’s not that she’s away. It’s that all her usual sources have resigned from the SNP. Now they’re gone, the closest thing she has to a leak is a tin of soup.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

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