Scottish economist slams official Treasury figures

One of Scotland’s leading oil economists has described UK estimates of income as ill-informed and “wide of the mark.”

Writing in the Sunday Times, Professor Sir Donald Mackay refuted claims made by Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, that there is a “hole” in Scotland’s oil income estimates. The former Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, and later Economic Advisor to Scotland’s Secretary of State, claimed that official production statistics from Oil & Gas UK, and price predictions generated by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) give a figure of almost double the £15.8 billion quoted by the UK Treasury.

If Danny looks at this, he might conclude there is no hole in the Scottish Government’s oil predictions but there is a mountain of black gold missing from his,” he said.

Finance Minister John Swinney also responded to concerns put forward by the Sunday Times over oil forecasts presented by Alex Salmond, saying that the North Sea: “represents a tremendous resource for Scotland, with remaining reserves estimated to have a wholesale value of up to £1.5 trillion.”

The Scottish government has been clear that the development and extraction of remaining North Sea oil and gas reserves will require significant investment by the industry. Such investment will bring substantial economic benefits,” he said. “Therefore, the wholesale value provides a complete picture of the value of future North Sea production to Scotland’s economy.”




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