PM promises North Sea cash if Scotland stays with UK

David Cameron and Alex Salmond have clashed over the future of Scotland's oil and gas industry as they held rival Cabinet meetings within a few miles of each other. The Prime Minister warned that leaving the UK would harm the key sector.

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Salmond: Independence vote polls are 'tightening'

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has said that the latest opinion polls showed the race for independence was tightening as he promised that oil and gas policy in the North Sea would be more stable in an independent Scotland.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Salmond said there had been 16 tax changes in the North Sea in 10 years and 14 oil ministers in 17 years.

"One of the things that a Scottish control of oil and gas would offer is a much more stable long-term policy," he said in an interview on BBC radio.

Salmond: Carbon Capture scheme planned '10 years ago'

The Peterhead Hydrogen Power Project. Credit: BP

There was an opportunity for the Carbon Capture Storage scheme to be built in Peterhead in Aberdeenshire 10 years ago, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has said in response to the UK Government's announcement that it has approved the plan.

Mr Salmond said: "Ten years ago there was an opportunity to go ahead with a scheme at Peterhead - the Miller project - which would have cost the same as onshore wind farm in terms of energy incentives. It should have gone ahead then - it should be proceeded with now."

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Salmond: 'Cooperation between firms' key to North Sea

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has said that "cooperation between companies" is key to success in the North Sea.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking to Radio 4's Today Programme, he said: "There has to be cooperation, as there is now for example between the Norwegian and the UK sectors of the North Sea. In fact there are some fields that straddle both sectors.

"The key aspect here is to get cooperation between the companies.

"The point that Sir Ian Wood is making is a critical point - is to get that integration between companies, to share infrastructure so as you can enhance recovery. The sums we are talking about are absolutely massive."

'World first' Carbon Capture Storage plant announced

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey has announced a new Carbon Capture Storage plant for Peterhead, in Aberdeenshire.

We are also announcing a world first. A CCS gas plant at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. It's Carbon Capture Storage - it's a low carbon technology.

As part of our efforts on climate change we've been investing in renewables. We have doubled the amount of renewable electricity for example.

Carbon Capture Storage takes the emissions from a gas plant or a coal plant and stores it safely underneath the North Sea.

– Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey speaking to Radio 4's Today programme

He confirmed Peterhead as the location for the world's first gas-fired carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility as part of a £100 million Government investment in the new technology.

Cameron visits oil rig in Aberdeen to look at

David Cameron has arrived in Aberdeen and is to visit an oil rig to see how the UK Government can help to "maximise oil and gas recovery from the UK Continental Shelf".

Government to 'slow the decline' of North Sea oil

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey has said the Government wants to 'slow that decline' in oil and gas coming from the North Sea.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "We are making two announcements. First of all the Wood Review has been looking at how we can maximize the potential from the North Sea.

"Oil and gas has been falling in the North Sea by 40% in the last three years. We want to slow that decline so that we get more tax revenue and more jobs."

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'£24 trillion' of oil and gas left in the North Sea

Pat Kane said Scotland had a lot of similarities with oil-rich Norway. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

There is "£24 trillion" worth of oil remaining in the North Sea, with the potential of developing reserves on the West Coast of Scotland if they become independent nation, an independence campaigner has told Daybreak.

Pat Kane said if Scotland left the UK they would consider scrapping the UK's nuclear programme, based on submarines at the Faslane base in Argyll and Bute, in favour of developing oil and gas reserves off the West Coast.

"The biggest amount of oil licenses were let out last year - 330 oil licenses were let out last year. This does not look like a sector that is contracting.

"If you get rid of Trident, which we are thinking to do, there are is actually oil fields off the West Coast of Scotland which we can't develop because we have Trident submarines in the waters."

Scots should be 'very worried' by SNP emphasis on oil

Energy secretary warned against basing Scotland's economy on North Sea oil and gas reserves. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Voters in Scotland should be "very worried" about the SNP's emphasis on oil and gas as the foundation for an independent Scottish economy, the Energy Secretary told Daybreak.

Ed Davey dismissed claims Scotland could build an economy on natural resources with the same success as their neighbour Norway, who discovered their oil reserves at a similar time to Scotland in the 1970s.

"Norway has got an awful lot more oil and gas left. We have seen a decline in the North Sea oil and gas," Ed Davey said.

He continued: "The North Sea is declining. We want to slow that decline, but the fact that the SNP are putting all their eggs in the basket of oil and gas revenues should really worry people in Scotland.

"I am afraid Scotland isn't Norway and if it becomes over-dependent on the tax revenues from oil and gas, it could have to raise taxes an awful lot when they oil and gas declines further or it would have to slash public expenditure."

Independence an opportunity to 'boost energy wealth'

Alex Salmond has said independence presents an "unrivalled opportunity" to boost Scotland's energy wealth and increase economic growth.

The First Minister is due to hold a meeting of his Cabinet in Portlethen today, as David Cameron holds a Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen with both leaders set out to announce plans for the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will set out his plans for the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry today. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Salmond said independence could mean new powers in areas including energy regulation and the ability to apply financial incentives.

Mr Salmond said a new energy department for Scotland would be split between Glasgow and Aberdeen, while a new regulator for the North Sea, as suggested by Sir Ian Wood's report, would also be based in Aberdeen.

The Scottish Government has already put forward plans to establish two separate oil funds if there is a Yes vote in September's referendum, with one short-term fund to help deal with fluctuations in oil and gas revenues, alongside a long-term savings fund.

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