Scottish Referendum

Debunking the Westminster Promoted Negative Myths of a Currency Union


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A Currency Union

The Scottish National Party recently committed to retaining £ sterling as the currency of an independent Scotland until such time as it is deemed prudent to adopt a replacement, (mirroring the successful policy of the Irish Free State).

Already the vultures are circling with their portents of a doom claiming the lack of a “Bank of last Resort” will prove to be a weakness which will be seized on by desperate Unionists and used to discredit the policy.

But it is opportune to know the views of independent thinkers armed with a depth of financial acumen.


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Currency Union. Experts in Finance Offer a View

Deutsche Bank.

In 2014 the UK government dismissed a currency union with an independent Scotland, but,  in practice it would be impossible for the Treasury to unilaterally sever the Scottish banking system from the rest of the UK without major risks to the financial stability of the rUK banking sector.



The head of the “European Group-of-10 currency strategists” at Citigroup said:

“Given the close economic ties between the two and assuming that these ties need not weaken going forward, the potential introduction of a currency union need not adversely affect trade and other flows.”


University Dean. Professor Angus Robertson.

The rUK’s debt to GDP ratio will rise significantly, with possible consequences for its credit rating. At the same time, Scotland’s debt burden will be much lower than rUK’s in all cases.


 University Dean. Professor Andrew Hughes-Hallett

an expert in economics and public policy at George Mason University in the US:

“There’s nothing which the Bank of England or the rUK could do to stop Scotland using the pound”.


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Effects of Currency Unions on Trade and Output

Independent evidence provided through academics and economists all point to a currency union being the only logical choice in particular where neighbouring countries also share a language it is the common sense approach that they can profit by sharing a currency.


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Who Needs a Bank of Last Resort

Myths govern modern central banking. Like many myths, they contain an element of truth that has been distorted by exaggeration and misapplication.

Myth One:

Central banks are intrinsically necessary for market economies. But history and theory belie this. Example:

The Bank of Canada was not founded until 1935 but the Canadian banking system survived the Great Depression with no major bank failures.

In contrast, thousands of U.S banks failed, despite the existence of the Federal Reserve.

These large-scale failures were only ended by President Roosevelt’s imposition of a bank holiday, not by any Federal Reserve contribution to banking stability.


Myth Two:

Central banks are needed as a lender of last resort—that is, to supply liquidity in times of financial stress when short-term lending freezes up.

The US Federal Reserve’s lending in the aftermath of Lehman’s collapse in 2008 is the new textbook example of this function.

But this argument has the causality exactly backwards.

Walter Bagehot, the eminent 19th-century British economic journalist, coined the phrase “lender of last resort” in his classic book, “Lombard Street.”

He recognized this was an essential function for the Bank of England. However, the context is often dropped.

Bagehot knew that a central bank inevitably resulted in a concentration of reserves within that institution, making it the lender of last resort.

But he did not believe that a central bank was inevitable or desirable.


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Time for some radical rethinking

For Bagehot, “the natural system” was the one “which would have sprung up if Government had let banking alone.”

There would have been “many banks of equal or not altogether unequal size.”

He described this as “the many reserve system,” in which each bank held reserves for itself, which he believed would have meant a stronger banking system.

In modern parlance, Bagehot’s celebrated “lender of last resort” is a second-best solution—second to a world of competitive banks and no central bank.

From 2011 the function of the Bank of England to act as a “lender of last resort” has been subsumed in favour of the better solution. Banks are now required by law to maintain sufficient financial reserves to cover all eventualities.

This is a good read:



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An Englishman for Independence

This is a must view/listen for all those who have a vote in an Independence Referendum.



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For the serious reader to study.

Click to access w7857.pdf

Click to access w9435.pdf


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Scottish Referendum

The Weir Group – The Only Thing Scottish is the Badge on the Door – But Scots Still Dance to Their Tune







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 Weir Group expands into Malaysia – David Cameron, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Weir Group chief executive Keith Cochrane.



The Weir Group

The company is a global leader in the design, supply and ongoing service of engineering equipment for the mining, oil and gas, power and industrial sectors and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. With annual sales in excess of 2 billion, it employs around 14,000 people and operates in more than 42 countries.

It maintains manufacturing facilities in North and South America, the UK, mainland Europe, Australia, South Africa, India and China. Annual profits vary between 300-600 million. Lord Smith of Kelvin was chairman of the Group 2002 – 2013.

The companies main operational thrust in the UK over the next few years (2016-2020)  is directed at the development and expansion of Nuclear Power and Fracking

The Group has consistently and actively solicited support to its campaigns against any form of Scottish devolution or independence. It is firmly Unionist and its political position is centre right. Although founded and registered in Scotland less than 5% of the Groups total workforce is Scottish based.

The Group is an active member of the shadowy organisation, “Common Purpose” (because it spots interesting opportunities and because its unique connections and professional approach makes the relationship highly productive._

In 2013, a team of their “selected” leaders undertook specialist leadership development programmes and attended a global leadership conference run by “Common Purpose” which assembled exceptional senior people from across the Commonwealth to tackle challenges that businesses, governments and society face today with the aim of building global relationships for them to use in the future. The Weir Groups tentacles of influence spread far and wide.



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Lord Andrew Dunlop ( old friend of Cameron’s) visiting the Weir Group


17 December 2010: Weir Group prosecuted for providing kickbacks to the Iraqi regime

In agreeing to overcharge the Oil For Food Programme (OFFP) (set up to ensure United Nations’ sanctions didn’t hurt ordinary Iraqis) for contracts agreed between 2001 and 2003, the Weir Group was able to divert 3.1m of humanitarian aid to Saddam Hussein’s coffers.

Fining the company 3m at the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge said he was taking into account Weir Group’s guilty plea and its willingness to pay back the 9.4m profits it made from the deals, the 3.1m it diverted from the OFFP and the 1.4m it paid to its Iraqi agent for acting as a conduit for the illegal payments.

Yet some believe justice has not yet been done. Like many other firms which traded with Iraq in the early Noughties, Weir Group PLC put profits before ethics; when told it had to pay a 10 per cent kickback or it wouldn’t win contracts, any scruples about UN sanctions disappeared.

According to a director of the company the decision had been taken at board level. A senior manager and the principal salesman together with directors and the manager of the principal subsidiary company involved in the deals were all present at a meeting when the illegality of the kickbacks was spelt out.

Not one, of more than 50 employees of the Weir Group involved was identified or pursued through the courts. This despite the fact that a number of individuals from other UK companies charged with similar offences of corruption and violation of sanctions, were charged, tried and punished. Moreover, though most of those at the helm at the time had moved on, many secured prestigious posts elsewhere.

In a statement explaining its decision on keeping individuals out of the frame, the Crown Office said: “In the course of this investigation it became clear that the decision to pay kickbacks to the Iraqi government, and to pay fees to the Iraqi agent, was taken at Weir Group level. It was, therefore, deemed that the most appropriate course of action was to prosecute The Weir Group plc rather than any individual who may have been involved in these events.”

Critics of the Crown Office said “the fines levied against The Weir Group is a pittance when set against the groups overall turnover. They will simply be incorporated into the annual profit and loss account reducing the corporation tax bill. The fines should have been made the personal responsibility of the directors which would have added bite to the punishment.”

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Weir Group’s chairman, said the judgement “finally draws a line” under the prosecution investigation. “What happened back in 2001 was wrong and we accept full responsibility”.



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HM being shown a pump



The “Kickback” scheme explained

The offences committed by Weir Group PLC came against a background of trade sanctions against Iraq. Introduced after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. It soon became clear the measures were leading to suffering and starvation among the Iraqi population and the UN set up the Oil for Food Programme (OFFP). From 1996 onwards, Saddam was allowed to sell oil, but all the receipts were placed in a UN account in Paris. Iraq was then able to use the funds to buy goods approved by the UN for the benefit of its population. Using its French subsidiary Wemco to administer the deals (because of Iraq’s “Buy British Last” policy), the Weir Group tendered for and won several contracts which involved supplying spare parts for water and oil pumps to Baghdad mayoralty, Iraq’s North Oil Company and South Oil Company.



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Lord Smith apologises to the public for the criminal acts of the group



However, in 2000, Saddam’s Revolutionary Command Council decreed that, in order to secure contracts, foreign companies would have to pay a kickback or “after-sales tax” of 10 per cent. The companies were told they would have to bring their goods through the port of Um Qasr, and would be prevented from unloading until they proved the kickback had been paid.  Weir Pumps, the subsidiary most heavily involved in the contracts, were informed that if the company didn’t pay, there would be no more orders.

Knowing the money could not be paid into an Iraqi bank, it was agreed an Iraqi agent would pay it from his own pocket. When it received the money from the OFFP, the company would pay the 10 per cent kickback plus a further 4 per cent for the agent’s services to a fake Geneva-based company, Corsin Finance Ltd. These payments would be unlikely to arouse suspicion as paying an agent to act on overseas deals is in itself entirely legitimate.

Two meetings were held on 13 and 14 September 2001 at the behest of a group director who was not involved in the OFFP contracts, but had become aware of what was going on. At the second meeting, the director gave the go-ahead for the kickbacks despite being told they were illegal. The first payment was made that same day. In total, Weir Group plc secured 16 contracts worth 35 million paying kickbacks of 3 million.



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Things began to unravel after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It quickly became clear the OFFP had been abused by the Iraqi regime and several UN officials. In the two years that followed a report by the US Defence Contract Audit Agency, a hearing before the US Senate and an independent inquiry committee headed by US banker Paul Volcker all implicated Weir Group as one of dozens of companies which might have capitulated to Saddam Hussein’s demands.

At first the chief executive Mark Selway denied the company had been involved in any wrongdoing, but, following an internal investigation, Weir Group admitted irregular payments had been made.

Sir Ron Garrick, (executive chairman) became a non-executive director and then deputy chairman of HBOS before retiring.

Mark Selway, (chief executive) became chief executive of Australian building firm Boral.

Sir Robert Smith (Lord Smith of Kelvin) (Chairman) who took up his role in 2002, is still in his post.



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Chief executive Keith Cochrane Anti – devolution or independence


3 April 2014: Weir Group report and Chief Executive, Keith Cochrane – Nicola Sturgeon exposes the agenda

The Weir Group is an important company in Scotland. I welcome its contribution to the debate and I am looking forward early next month to meeting senior management and staff at the Group to discuss those very issues. I hope to reassure them on some of the points that have been made this morning.

It is worth pointing out—this is not a criticism of the Weir Group; rather it is to provide some context—that the Group was against devolution before the 1979 and 1997 referendums.

It warned then of consequences that simply did not materialise. It is also worth noting that the Group, a successful Scottish company, operates in 70 countries around the world; an independent Scotland would form the 71st country in which it operates.

The Group’s report on independence states clearly that Scotland “could succeed” as an independent country. “Independence would bring” control over policy making “closer to the people”. It would allow an expanded range of economic policy levers to be tailored to the needs and circumstances of our economy and to the distinctive views and values of our people, and the flexibility to tailor business tax rates would be a significant attraction of Scottish independence in principle.

Nicola Sturgeon –



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Keith Cochrane

27 August 2014: Weir Group chief executive canvasses support of business leaders to his cause

A letter supporting “Better Together”, (signed by bosses from a variety of industries) has been published in the press and reported on by the broadcasting media. Its architect is, Keith Cochrane, chief executive of engineering company Weir Group which has never supported any form of Scottish devolution let alone independence.



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RIVALS: Weir Group chief Keith Cochrane (left) “Better Together” and Clyde Blowers Jim McColl (right)  “Yes”


12 September 2014: Weir Group to move Glasgow HQ if Scotland votes ‘yes’

Chief Executive Keith Cochrane has said that the group could not guarantee that it would keep its Glasgow headquarters if Scotland became independent after the referendum, although the group’s three service centres would remain in the country.



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Lord Smith of Kelvin



27 November 2014: The Lord Smith of Kelvin Commission Report on devolved powers for Scotland

The Smith Commission issued its report on the shape and form of the devolved powers promised to Scotland by the political parties at Westminster in the days before and after the Scottish Independence referendum. This is a good read.



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Scottish Referendum

Caledonian Universitygate Inquiry

The Guardian, (Friday 7 February 2014) Flipper Darling Accused SNP government of Intimidating Universities in Scotland

Darling said, “You’ll find it very difficult to find any Scottish university principals to speak out and when you ask them, they say, “We’ve been told not to say anything.” They [the SNP government] are very clear. If you can’t support us, you shut up.”

(8 February, London). Professor Pamela Gillies, Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University wades into controversy by declaring her university’s support for the Union. The Prime Minister David Cameron was accompanied by, (on his Olympic Village sortie, broadcast UK wide on prime-time Television and widespread press coverage when he appealed to the rest of Britain to save the Union), Professor Pamela Gillies, the Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.

The overt campaigning by the vice chancellor will raise alarm bells in the Scottish government as so far academics have expressed views on individual policies and expressed concerns about uncertainties over research funding and fee charging for English students. But no senior university leader has until now declared that they are joining the campaign on either side. The university is funded by the Scottish government so relations may cool. It is also a charity so there may also be concern at the, “Charity Regulator” about political campaigning.

Campus Trade Unions expressed their extreme concern at the University’s decision to co-host an event in the London Velodrome together with the British government, where David Cameron used his office as Prime minister to set out his case against independence. Widely trailed on the BBC and other broadcasters the day before as a major intervention by the Prime Minister into the independence debate, Court members were only informed the night before the event, that the speech – promoted as a ‘business development’ opportunity – would even take place. A full inquiry has been asked for by students attending the University.
Co-hosting a divisive speech by the Prime Minister – a misreading of our role in society say GCU Unions Read the responses.

Pamela Gillies is a member of, “Common Purpose” (a sinister, “leadership” infiltration of society organisation). These people are an unelected cancer on society, who select leaders for the future and are a huge threat to democracy. Professor Pamela Gillies met delegates from across the Commonwealth to advise them on building networks around the world.

Common Purpose’s Scotland Director Connie Young said, “In a globalised world, migration is commonplace and ever increasing. People move between countries and communities taking their skills, knowledge and networks with them. They are a source of huge potential, able to add great value to the countries they go to and also the countries they’ve left through building bridges and connections between the two communities.

Scottish Referendum

Welfare to Work – Use of External Contractors

Welfare to Work – Use of External Contractors

In order to deliver our commissioning future welfare to work policy objectives as efficiently and effectively as possible we need to broaden our thinking and look to develop new ways of commissioning. Large scale prime contracting enables us to meet the challenge of delivering efficient services at large scale and still has a place within the DWP commissioning landscape.

However, to get full value from our specialist providers and realise the potential of social investment, we recognise the need to commission using a range of different approaches, in particular when delivering support to those furthest from the labour market. We will embrace the range of approaches available to us including the continued testing of innovative approaches, using the findings to inform future commissioning.

Seems to me we are addressing the demise of the Job Centres. I expect amy thousands of civil service jobs will be shed throughout the UK and Scotland. The, “new Way” will be commissioning of private companies to taking over the task of assessing, training and managing the unemployed back to work. The bulk of the work will be completed on-line with little face to face contact, perhaps other than an initial interview. Payment and suspension of benefits will be the responsibility of the contractor, (within rules provided by the DWP). Interesting time ahead. Bit of a rollercoaster this one. I am just glad I’m well out of it. But I do worry about the fate of the unemployed. These new providers are not in it to do good. They will make a profit off the backs of the unemployed. I expect if it will be a case of 3 strikes and out.

Scottish Referendum

Commercial Secret Revealed By the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry – Oil and Gas will be Extracted from Scottish Waters for 100 Years





North Sea oil Will Last For 100 Years’

Scottish waters will continue to provide oil for another 100 years, twice as long as previous estimates, according to industry analysts.

Dr Richard Pike, a former oil industry consultant and now the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “Rather than only getting 20 to 30 billion barrels we are probably looking at more than twice that amount.”

His analysis is supported by petroleum experts who believe there are some 300 fields off the coast of Britain still to be explored and tapped properly.

Dr Pike claims that the industry knows the true figures but refuses to release them because of commercial secrecy.

A spokesman for UK Oil and Gas, the offshore industry’s trade association, said: “The current estimates are that there are around 25 billion barrels left.” He’s lying.




Another good read




Scottish Referendum

Don’t Be Persuaded by the Anti Independence Unionist Political Hype – One Of Britains Best Ever Chancellor’ Reveals the Truth – Scotland Would Thrive Without England Dragging It Down





Denis Healey



Can Scotland Go It Alone

The views of one of the best economists in the UK in the last 100 years, the late Denis Healey, former Chancellor of the Exchequer in Labour governments 1970-1979 are as relevant today as they were in the past.

He was asked if he supported the cause of those who wished Scotland to become an independent nation once again given that the Scot’s were overly financially subsidized by England and the oil & gas resources were the property of the UK.



His answer was surprisingly blunt and not widely reported. He said:

“I think England would suffer enormously if the income from Scottish oil and gas stopped but if the Scots want independence they should have it and England would just need to adjust.


Asked if he expected an independent Scotland would survive, economically. he said:

“Yes, I would think so… and they have the oil, gas and renewable energy”.


Asked about his thoughts about claims that Scotland being subsidized by England he reminded the questioner that Joel Barnett, (he of the Barnett formula), was his deputy at the Treasury at the time the share of the national income pot Scotland should receive was decided.

He added:

” Scotland pays more than its fair share and these myths are simply perpetuated to cloud the issue by those that are opposed to independence.”


On Scotland keeping the pound, he said:

“I don’t see why Westminster could say the Scot’s couldn’t share it. Scotland would gain from the arrangement but so would the rest of the UK”.


Scottish Referendum

Credit Suisse Report Indicates That An Independent Scotland Would Flourish and Rate Higher Than rUK – Retain it Near To Hand For Use In the Next Referendum





Strategic Vision – Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is one of the world’s leading banks, with more than 45,000 employees, offices in 50 countries and expertise in nearly every facet of banking, investing and finance.



The Human Development Index

The Human Development Index is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income indices used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.



An Independent Scotland

A newly independent Scotland would have a better Human Development Index (HDI) than the rest of the UK, even without oil, a leading international finance company has said.

A report by Credit Suisse:”

has concluded that on key areas of life expectancy, education, and income a newly independent Scotland would be ranked higher than the rest of the United Kingdom.

According to the report’s authors, an independent Scotland would be ranked four places higher than the rUK.

The report said:

Scotland would rank 23rd if we include a geographical allocation to Scotland’s GNI [Gross National Income] related to the North Sea oil output, versus the current 27th place for the UK and the hypothetical 30th for rUK.

Note: Even excluding any allocation of oil output, Scotland would still rank ahead of the UK.”



Comparing the success of small countries with that of larger nations the report said:

Small countries are more homogeneous and homogeneity plays an important role in determining the success of a country.  Cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity creates a ceiling to the potential size of a country.  Small countries are more open to international trade and have embraced globalization to a higher extent than larger countries.  Small countries are successful and in general much better off than bigger countries.



Public services in smaller countries benefit more from ‘pooling resources’ and the ‘economies of scale’ than larger countries.

Research shows that large countries tend to have higher tax rates for individuals (by 5%).  So the cost of funding public services for the individual is higher in larger countries than in small countries.  The Credit Suisse Research Institute also explained that small countries are one of the “leading geopolitical trends of the last fifty years“.




The report and comments were welcomed by an SNP Treasury spokesperson who said:

“These comments are very welcome. Using academic data, the report sets out Scotland’s potential and how our development rating would outperform the UK- even without oil- following a Yes vote.  The report also found that smaller countries are better able to ‘effectively’ and ‘cheaply’ deliver public services, and most of the small countries mentioned do not have nearly as many of the resources we have here in Scotland.  This highlights once again that Scotland is perfectly positioned to flourish as an independent nation. We would be able to concentrate on our talents, grow our economy and build a better and fairer society following a Yes vote.”


Scottish Referendum

UK Debt Out of Control

Interest bill on UK’s £1.27 trillion debt to hit £1bn a week

The Uk taxpayer is forking out £1billion every week !!!! yes £1billion a week!!! just to pay off interest on the largest debt of any country in the world, (£1.3 trillion and rising). I hope Scotland goes for plan B but tying the currency to the $US

Scottish Referendum

NHS England Privatisation

NHS England Privatisation, (The Latest Wheeze)

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to introduce a, new class of doctor called, “Physician Associate”. Their training will be complete after 2 years as opposed to the present 7 years and they will attract salaries around £40,000.

The, “Physician Associate” will be allowed to perform a wide range of jobs currently the remit of fully qualified doctors, including diagnosis and treatment.

My previous posts 11311 & 11385 provided information giving warning of the rolling privatisation of the NHS in England. “Bringing the doctors to heel” is crucial to a successful introduction of Private Healthcare Corporations who need to make a, “profit” from their contracts. Both objectives are achieved by the measures indicated. New medics will be flying in from all over the world.

The British Medical Association, (BMA) have expressed concern that mis-diagnosis will become rife leading to more work on the part of more qualified doctors. User body, “Patient Consern” see that the measure is a fantastic way to save money at increased risk to patients.

The process has started. Private Healthcare providers are already moving forward with their recruitment plans, both in the UK and worldwide.

A, “Yes” vote in the referendum will alllow Scot’s to decide the future direction and organisation of healthcare service provision in Scotland. A, “No” vote will place the sick and elderly at the mercy of the prvatisation measures so well advanced in England.

Scottish Referendum

North Sea – Oil and Gas – Ungrateful Scots Should Be On Their Knees Thanking Westminster for Taking Control





Oil and Gas the millstone round the neck of Scotland

Unionist political parties ably assisted by the BBC and Unionist press are fermenting despair  in Scotland through a campaign of disinformation seeking to manipulate the minds of Scots to accept that the days of Scottish self sufficiency in oil, gas, and renewable ‘s are numbered in a few years.

Scots will by result remain to be a heavy financial burden on Westminster. They are simply incapable of governing their country since they are not bred to do so.

Westminster Unionist politicians, skilled in the dark arts are lying, much as they have for 300 years so that they will be able to control Scotland dictating all aspects of life within its borders.

Acceptance of the “porkie pies” by Westminster should mean that England has no further need of Scottish waters stolen by subterfuge by Tony Blair and the Labour Government in 1999.

Nicola Sturgeon should at the earliest opportunity require the illegal removal of Scottish Waters by Westminster to be reversed as part of the 2016 Scotland Act.




Scottish Waters 1987



Scottish Waters after the 1999 Theft by the Labour Party




Oil & Gas The Rip Off That is Westminster

A 2014 UK government commissioned report, compiled by an Aberdonian member of the unelected House of Lords stated there were around 24 billion barrels of oil yet to be recovered from the North Sea.

The figure quoted considered recoverable oil in the North Sea block only. It did not include the North Atlantic, West Coast of Scotland or Rockall areas since these are largely unexplored.

Enter the spoiler, “The Clair Field”. First discovered and located in the, “Atlantic Sector” of the, “Continental Shelf” in 1977 it was declared, “off limits for discussion” by the UK government.

Unionist media manipulators then broadcast widely and often, (making full use of the Unionist media and press) that the oil would run down in the 1990’s. Job done. Scotland, “back to sleep” it was thought by the Westminster con-men.

Many years later, in 2003 a license to explore the Clair field was finally granted to BP.  Surprise, surprise, “sweet oil, in excellent quantities flowed freely, and this was only phase 1.

In a recent conference in Houston Texas, not widely reported in the UK press. BP announced a major further major expansion of the, “Clair Field”.  Field development, to date;

Phase 1. Has produced 90 million barrels of oil since operations began in 2005.

Phase 2. is expected to produce reach peak production capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day, after operations begin in 2016. And we are addressing only one field.

But here we are again. “Blether Together” politico’s, (largely comprised of discredited time spent old men of Westminster) are now spreading the lie that oil will run-out in 15-20 year’s.



BP, Partners to Develop 3rd Phase of Giant Clair Field (UK)
The Clair Field
 28 March 2013: BP and Partners to Develop 3rd Phase of Giant Clair Field
BP and its co-venturers Shell, Conoco-Phillips and Chevron announced today their decision to proceed with a two-year appraisal programme to look at the possibility of developing a third phase of the giant Clair field (first discovered in 1977),  West of the Shetland Isles
The initial commitment involves a two year programme to drill five appraisal wells. This could increase to between eight and twelve wells, depending on results from these first wells. Drilling of the first well commenced recently.
The objectives of the programme are to provide greater certainty on overall reservoir volumes, including their distribution and fluid characteristics; to evaluate technologies to improve recovery from Greater Clair; and to test the possibility of new stand-alone developments and linkages to Clair Ridge.
Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP North Sea, said: “This is a major milestone and a further big commitment to the west of Shetland by BP and its co-venturers. If successful, the appraisal programme could pave the way for a third phase of development at Clair – this is now a real possibility.”
Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “This announcement by BP of a two year appraisal programme for the Greater Clair area West of Shetland is excellent news. It shows the industry’s commitment to maximise the potential in this area, which could hold up to 17% of our oil and gas reserves.
 “Greater Clair proves there is still a long future for oil and gas production in the North Sea and will give confidence to new recruits that the industry offers a career for life.”
John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Greater Clair is extremely significant as it reinforces West of Shetland as an important area of future oil and gas development. 

“The Government is working extremely hard to ensure the oil and gas industry has the confidence and certainty it needs to invest, providing the UK with a source of energy security and jobs for years to come.”


Jasmine Field

The Jasmine field lies in blocks 30/6 and 30/7a of the central North Sea


Jade Field

The Jasmine field is located near Conoco-Phillips’ Jade and Judy fields.




20 November 2013: First Oil production from the Jasmine field in the UK North Sea

Once on plateau, Jasmine is expected to contribute around 30 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Group Chief Executive Officer Chris Finlayson said “The start-up of production from Jasmine marks the delivery of yet another key 2013 milestone.

“Jasmine is the largest discovery to come on-stream in the North Sea since the giant Buzzard field began production in 2007.  It demonstrates both our world-class exploration performance and our long-term commitment to the North Sea where we believe significant potential remains.”


Shetland Gas Fields



8 February 2016: Total turns on gas from West of Shetland Laggan and Tormore fields

Production has begun at a new gas plant that will bring the vast reserves west of Shetland to the mainland.  The Shetland Gas Plant is expected to provide about 8% of the UK’s (100% of Scotland’s) gas needs.

A flare was lit at the moment gas started flowing to the plant, which will serve the Laggan and Tormore fields.  The two gas fields lie about 125km (77 miles) to the north west of the Shetland Islands. The plant is said to have been the biggest construction project in the UK since the London Olympics.

Total said the Laggan and Tormore fields will produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The gas will be piped to the plant, which lies just to the east of the existing Sullom Voe Terminal, before a pipeline takes it to the UK mainland and into the national gas grid.  Almost 20% of the UK’s remaining oil and gas reserves are thought to lie in the area to the west of Shetland.

The project is part of a massive £3.5bn investment by French company Total. Challenging weather conditions delayed the project by more than a year and added millions to its cost.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “It is the success of large investment projects such as this which will see the Shetland Islands remain a key hub for oil and gas production in the North Sea

“Production from the North Sea as a whole is now increasing and cost efficiencies are being achieved. The Laggan and Tormore fields, which have a lifespan of 20 years, will provide a further boost North Sea production.”

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said Total’s announcement showed that the prospects for west of Shetland looked positive despite the “doom and gloom from some about the future of oil and gas”.


Gas plant construction site

The Shetland Gas Plant