Sir Ian Wood's oil intervention
By Martin Kelly (21 Aug 2014)[...] Sir Ian Wood's new figures [15bn – 16.5bn barrels] contradict estimates from Professor Alex Kemp who has suggested 24bn barrels could still be recovered. It has also emerged that Tim Smith, the Vice President of BP, himself told a committee of MSPs that there was 27bn barrels of oil still to be recovered. Both men insist production won't, as claimed by Sir Ian, end in 2050, but will in fact continue beyond that.
Sir Ian himself is on record as having urged young people to move into the oil and gas sector telling them that they will have a job for life - what changed his mind is not clear.
Recent reports over oil fields to the east and west of Shetland ensured oil was making an impact on the referendum, and it was benefiting the Yes campaign. Sir Ian's intervention allowed the media to put a block on the Yes momentum. By launching his attack on a Wednesday, it also ensured Unionist leaders at Holyrood could keep the attack going - allowing the BBC to repeat the story.
The Scottish Government, and the wider Yes campaign, seems to have been his target. His comments on remaining in the Union and the 'uncertainty' of independence have ensured we have another figure who is no longer deemed neutral.
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