Scottish Independence: BP Declares Support in Favour of Union

- Leadership - Sep 11, 2014

Oil and gas giant BP has declared its position in the upcoming referendum on Scotland’s independence by stating that it is in favour of union and the Better Together campaign.

CEO Bob Dudley, who personally hinted at a similar standpoint earlier in the year, spoke out after estimates for North Sea oil production were criticised by tycoon Sir Ian Wood for being misleading and offering false promises.

This is in reference to a report welcomed by Scottish National Party leader and First Minister Alex Salmond which said that some 21 billion barrels of oil could be found from shale reserves in the North Sea.

Wood said: "As passions rise and hearts risk overtaking minds in the debate, it is vital that Scots are able to make their decision based on fact and not fantasy.

"The N-56 report gives the impression that 21 billion barrels are in reserves. Nothing could be further from the truth."

He even suggested that economic damage could be done to Scotland’s due to declining production in as little as 15 years’ time.

In light of this sharp criticism, Dudley said: "Our business invests for decades into the future. It is important our plans are based on a realistic view of the North Sea’s future potential and the challenges the industry faces in continuing to operate here.

"As a major investor in Scotland - now and into the future - BP believes that the future prospects for the North Sea are best served by maintaining the existing capacity and integrity of the United Kingdom".

Estimates for North Sea reserves vary greatly, with pro-independence groups citing sources closer and even beyond 21 billion barrels, criticising the pessimism of Better Together campaigners.  

The referendum is set for September 17 in what could result in the greatest constitutional change in British history. 

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