Largest oil discovery off Scottish coast could raise chances of independence

29th March 2017 | Commercial Energy

An oil exploration company has hailed the “largest undeveloped discovery” of oil in UK waters. It lies to the west of Shetland in Scotland. The find could influence the outcome of a second Scottish independence referendum.

Hurricane Energy said the discovery is significantly larger than the average findings of 25 million barrels in recent years. They claim 1 billion barrels could be extracted.

Hurricane’s chief executive offices, Robert Trice, said there are “exciting times” ahead for the company, which has seen its shares jump 6 per cent following the announcement. The site is in the Greater Lancaster Area.

Hurricane Energy

Trice said, “This is a highly significant moment for Hurricane. We believe that the Greater Lancaster Areas is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).”

The news comes after oil prices plummeted to a three-month low, sparking questions over whether an independent Scotland could financially manage on its own if it chose to split from the UK.

Dean Turner, an economist at UBS Wealth Management, said, “While Brexit has, of course, added a new dimension, the economic concerns that led the majority in Scotland to vote to remain a part of the UK have not disappeared. Scottish GPR (Gross Domestic Product) lags behind the UK and declining oil revenues have raised questions over the fiscal sustainability for an independent Scotland – especially if it intends to retain the pound.”

This gloomy forecast could be reversed if major revenues can be raised from the vast new discovery. Hurricane Energy believes the Lancaster and Halifax oil fields actually constitute one single entity in a kilometre-deep column.

Trice continued, “ I am delighted that the Halifax well results support the company’s view that its substantial Lancaster discovery has been extended to include the Halifax license.”

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