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Glass full of holes

Posted on July 01, 2014 by

There’s some very strange counting going on in the Times today. Firstly the paper carries a story about a survey of potential shale gas deposits in the central belt, and arrives at a very gloomy conclusion (“Modest deposits shake hope of shale bonanza”):

“Scotland has a modest amount of shale gas and oil reserves but far less than are believed to be in the north of England, a new report has revealed.

The official British Geological Survey (BGS) analysis estimates that there are six billion barrels of oil and 80 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas across the central belt of Scotland which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The potential shale gas reserves are a fraction of what scientists have said are in the Bowland area of northern England where it is estimated that 1,300tcf of gas exists beneath the ground. The UK already uses 3 tcf of gas every year.”

Hold on a minute. We’re not fans of fracking, but 80 trillion cubic feet? If the UK uses 3 tcf of gas a year, presumably Scotland, with 8.4% of the population, uses roughly 0.25 tcf a year. 80 tcf into 0.25 tcf suggests that the shale gas thought to be in the central belt would cover Scotland’s use for 320 years, which seems quite a lot.

In fact a piece in the Scotsman suggests that Scotland’s actual use is 0.17 tcf and only 10% of the deposits are thought to be recoverable, but since that’s still enough to meet the nation’s needs for 47 years (though the Scotsman reflexively reduces that to 46), the Times’ dismissive approach seems a little odd.

It’s not the only arithmetic fail in the august London journal, though.

Another downbeat piece, entitled “In the red – but by how much?”, makes great play of forecasts by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, which claim an independent Scotland would have a £4bn annual deficit.

That figure makes some dubious assumptions, particularly about the country’s inherited debt, but the article doesn’t supply any perspective by which readers could judge whether Scotland’s was a relatively large or small deficit until paragraph 13 of 17.

“CIPFA estimates that when payments for debt interest are included, Scotland’s annual spending in 2016-17 would be between £67 billion and £69 billion.

It also cites Scottish government estimates for tax revenues of between £64 billion and £65 billion, implying a shortfall on spending of about £4 billion on the highest estimates.

This, it says, is about 6 per cent of total spending, which it describes as ‘not dissimilar’ to a projected UK deficit of 11 per cent of spending.

(Our emphasis.) We suppose that describing 6 as “not dissimilar” to 11 is one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is “slightly over half”. In other words, Scotland could slash the size of its deficit by almost 50% with a Yes vote, even assuming it was to take on a large share of UK debt.

In fairness, the description seems to be CIPFA’s rather than the Times’. But the paper chooses not to headline the story with “Independent Scotland’s deficit would be half the size of the UK’s”, and instead focuses on the negatives. It does, however, include one very telling line from the report:

“The fact that the outcome will not be known until after a vote for independence means that a truly informed decision cannot be made in the referendum.”

We wonder if anyone will tell the Unionist politicians who look set to keep up their demands for a spurious figure for the “cost of independence” from now until September.

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  1. 01 07 14 21:14

    Glass full of holes | Scottish Independence News

68 to “Glass full of holes”

  1. Grouse Beater says:

    Another union-biased report on Scotland’s wealth presented upside down, backside foremost, inside out, arse over end and skewed in all directions, unravelled to a unwavering straight line of sense and sensibility.

    Thank you.

  2. Gary says:

    Same old, same old in all respects. I just hope the electorate see through them.

  3. patronsaintofcats says:

    Reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld:

    “Reports that say there’s — that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

  4. Murray McCallum says:

    Just as well the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy don’t give personal financial advice in the real world as they would be directing clients to Wonga for a loan.

    CIPFA’s considered opinion that a 6% deficit is “not dissimilar” to a 11% deficit is another piece in the puzzle as to why the UK’s national finances remain in trouble.

  5. JLT says:

    Personally …I wouldn’t frack at all. I would rather we just left the coal and gas in amongst the shale deposits and just stick with Green Energy. Now fair enough, we might have World War 3 where gas and coal might be at a minimum. Then …and just then …I might go digging for the stuff.

    But, Fracking is a dirty, horrible business. It ruins the underground natural water supplies, and can even cause great damage to the ground for several miles around it (there have ‘rumoured’ earthquakes because of Fracking in the Blackpool area over the last couple of years (if my memory serves me right)).

    Stick to getting the oil and gas from the sea. Use that to turn this nation around by continuing a profitable energy sector, and instead, build on the Green Energy industry for the future.

    That is the way forward. The North of England is going to rue the day that they allowed Fracking to be setup right across their lands …and all for the benefit of the South.

  6. Steve Bowers says:

    Hmmmmmm, I did wonder when I heard the figures this morning, the first thing that went through my head was Mc Crone report !

  7. Krackerman says:

    Waters wet…. The sky is blue and newpapers lie….

    Same old same old…

    I pity the halfwits that read this sh1t and believe it…

  8. Balaaargh says:

    I wonder if whatsisface over at Ineos knew that a good chunk of the shale gas was right on his doorstep (and under it) when the plant upgrades for Grangemouth to handle US shale gas were submitted?

    Having broken Unite so easily last year, he must be laughing all the way to the bank if he doesn’t have incur transport costs when he can just run a pipe from Airth right down Grangemouth High St!

  9. Mickie Taiker says:

    The issue here is what is the economically recoverable amount of shale gas. I don’t know the geology involved and am not an expert in shale anyway, but this is the critical figure. It, of course, depends on factors such as local geology (you may have 5tcf, but only a few ‘scufs’ are economically recoverable, whilst you may have 1tcf, of which 25% is recoverable (ceteris paribus).

    I’m not sure why Scotland “not” having much shale gas is that relevant. I can think of many places that apparently don’t have much, such as the moon, but I’m not sure how newsworthy it is. A lot of fuss over a fossil fuel.

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The issue here is what is the economically recoverable amount of shale gas.”

    That seems to be the 10% the Scotsman is referring to.

  11. galamcennalath says:

    Krackerman says:
    I pity the halfwits that read this sh1t and believe it…

    Sadly, they get one vote each – just the same as those of us who seek out the truth!

  12. Jill P says:

    Is there any shale oil and gas left in West Lothian after Paraffin Young extracted all the shale?

  13. TJenny says:

    Is the projected UK deficit of 11%, referring to the rUK after Scotland’s independent and taken our revenues and taxes with us, or based on the figures with Scotland still contributing?

    You know the way they always seem to present Scottish figures without oil, but never do the same for rUK without oil and financial sector.

  14. Peter A Bell says:

    Curious, is it not, that all unionist estimates of Scotland’s deficit assume a share of UK debt when, at the same time, they insist that rUK would abolish the currency union, thereby making it impossible for Scotland to continue contributing the the cost of servicing UK debt.

    Yet another massive inconsistency.

  15. North chiel says:

    Ref jlt comments on “Fracking”
    Just to let you be aware of the fact that oil and gas does not “come
    From the sea”.Fracking techniques have been used offshore to increase
    Production from reservoirs with “tight formations”ie the sandstone or limestone
    Formation is fractured to allow the hydrocarbons held within to flow
    More readily.This is not a new technique and I recall this method
    Of enhanced recovery being used on offshore fields in 1976 and
    In all probability many years before this before the North Sea
    Fields were discovered.

  16. JLT says:

    Jill P says:

    Is there any shale oil and gas left in West Lothian after Paraffin Young extracted all the shale?

    Jill, I’m from Livingston, and I’ll say there will be quite a bit of the old oil and gas down there.

    Fracking isn’t like mining. It’s also not like creating the slag heaps and bings that we see scattered around West Lothian.

    What the Fracking companies do, is to bore deep into the earth’s foundations (I think they go down about 10,000 to 20,000 feet – that’s about 3 to 4 miles (so it’s deeper than the old pits and mines)). They then set off a massive explosion, and then pump water and chemicals into it, thus forcing the gas and oil off the shale, and forcing it to the surface where it can be pumped out. The problem is, that our natural water also lies underground, so that becomes infected with the gas, grime, chemicals, and all sorts of crap. Basically, unless seriously treated, the water becomes not only undrinkable, it’s basically poison.

    The charge that is detonated is so powerful, that it cause ruptures in the layers in the ground, and when some of it becomes unstable, you get mini-earthquakes; not enough to knock over buildings on an epic scale, but if you are unfortunate, then you may see cracks appear in the structure of your house.

    To get a very good idea of how bad Fracking is, try and see a film called ‘Gasland’. It’s about Fracking in the US, and it is so bad in parts, that people have been able to ignite tap water. I’m not kidding! Look up youtube. It’s the most frightening thing to see tap water pouring out of a tap, while on fire. That’s the gas escaping into the water system. Those who drank the water long enough developed illnesses.

    Seriously …Scotland does NOT, or ever need to Frack. We have enough energy resources to get by. Vote ‘No’ however, and do you think Westminster will bow to Scottish wishes not to Frack. Will they hell…

  17. G H Graham says:

    Peter A Bell,

    Where the hell have you been?

    Missed your pointed narrative lately.

  18. Brian Mchugh says:

    We will never need that much Carbon Fuels Stu… in 20 years (or less) time, Scotland will be over 100% self sufficient in renewable (wind/wave/tidal/hydro) energy, that we will only need a pittance of Hydrocarbon fuels for plastics and oils. “See the future” is the message.

  19. JLT says:

    North chiel

    Fair point, but that is not what Westminster and these companies are proposing. They want to Frack the cheap way. That means Fracking on land, not at sea.

    When Farage debated with Clegg recently, Farage was all for Fracking ‘in the north’. Farage, like other Westminster politicians don’t give a shit about anything north of Watford. Scotland and the North of England are territories for exploitation and for making a quick buck. they won’t give a shit about the people who live there.

  20. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    new 600MW project at Coire Glas, The pump storage hydro scheme is designed to “soak up” excess power generated by wind and wave farms, using it to pump water up to a reservoir. That water is then released through tunnels to generate hydro electric power at times when consumers need it. Those in favour of such schemes describe them as “green batteries”,
    there are 2 other similar systems, Foyer’s 300MW and Cruachan 440MW, all 3 will produce 25% of scotlands total needs in winter.

    Massive offshore wind farm in Outer Moray Firth approved, These two schemes alone (325 turbines)could provide 40% of Scotland’s peak power needs (winter) on a windy day.

    this will cut the required fossil fuel needed by 30%,

    we should be glad of the shale oil, but the calculations in this article assume we wont hit 100% renewable, in which case, the oil here may last a lot longer and be used for more important things like plastics and medicines

  21. Alastair Wright says:

    I first read this in a trade magazine – Plastics and rubber weekly, see below.

    Scotland shale reserves ‘modest’ say geologists
    By PRW Staff
    Posted 30 June 2014
    Scotland has “modest” reserves of shale gas and oil, according to the British Geological Survey. It estimated that around 80 trillion cubic feet of gas and 6 billion barrels of oil could exist in the Midland Valley but warned that not all might be extractable.

    The totals compare with an estimate for the Bowland shale (in the north of England) of 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas and 4.4 billion barrels of oil in the Weald basin (in the South of England).

    Business and energy minister, Michael Fallon, said: “Making the most of Britain’s home-grown energy is crucial to keep job and business opportunities, widen tax revenues and reduce our reliance on foreign imports.

    “We know that shale gas alone won’t be able to supply all of our energy needs, but the environmentally responsible exploration of shale gas could contribute to our energy mix.”

    Professor Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the British Geological Survey, added: “The Midland Valley of Scotland has complex geology and a relative lack of data compared to the Bowland and Weald Basin studies.”
    Everyone concentrates on the amount of ‘fuel’ these deposits can provide, but they have a far greater and longer lasting value in polymer (plastics) manufacturing. It’s always annoyed me that despite our resources we only have one refinery and little polymer manufacturing here in Scotland.

  22. Les Wilson says:

    Jill P says:

    Jill, I am unsure about what is left in West Lothian, however the extraction systems back then were very basic, so there is likely to be shale oil still there.

    An interesting thing thought, the shale there resulted in the World’s first oil refinery! Yes,in West Lothian.

  23. Stoops says:

    I’m no expert, but I was under the impression that the formation was fractured using hydraulic pressure, not explosives. The reservoir is usually perforated using down home ‘guns’. Pump pressure is applied to the formation via the drilling/completion fluid and small glass beads are pumped into the fractures to prevent ‘healing’. At least that’s how they used to do it offshore. Not sure about environmental consequences though.

  24. cynicalHighlander says:

    Fracking is a nonsense from start to finish EROEI.

  25. HandandShrimp says:

    The shale is not going anywhere and I suggest we leave it where it is. However, like Stu I was perplexed by the analysis of the numbers 6% of the shale and 58% of the oil seems a little more than modest but I’m not complaining.

    There may be better and cleaner energy to be had or better and cleaner extraction methods for shale to be developed. Let them practice in the home counties first.

  26. Grouse Beater says:

    Ah, poverty-stricken West Lothian, twinned with Kabul, I think.

    Was pulled over by bored polis at 4am some years back outside Whitburn, West Lothian. One officer questioned me while the other prowled around the car.

    Bit fast, sir.
    Sorry, officer, stayed under 40mph.
    This car yours?
    Bit flash for the likes of you, isn’t it?
    Nothing like ambition, officer.
    Where are you going?
    And where would that be?
    So, what were you doing here?
    Checking results of Thatcher’s policies on mining communities.
    Oh, yeah? And what job would you have for that?
    Would you believe, ‘BBC Television executive,’ officer?
    (Long pause, he flashes glance at colleague, surly salutes.)
    Sorry to have troubled you sir. On your way.

  27. gordon murray says:

    Never mind the fracking!
    Out under the North Sea there is between 3-23thousand billion tonnes of coal. You gasify this by blowing oxygen and high temperature steam using drilling rigs, one to blow the steam in and a second to recover the industrial gases, mainly methane(natural gas-4hydrogen+1 carbon atom) and methanol(methane+1 oxygen atom)Strip off the carbon and use it to repressurise oil&gas bearing strata and you have clean polution free hydrogen, burn it and you get energy with only water out the exhaust.
    Perfect, and enough of it to supply all Europe for 1,000years!
    Spread nicely across Scottish, English and Norwegian waters, plenty for everyone. Grangemouth is also crying out for this feedstock.

  28. Schrodinger's Cat says:


  29. Grouse Beater says:

    Never mind the fracking!

    What he needs is a damn good whacking?

  30. Croompenstein says:

    I don’t really have a scooby about what’s involved with fracking but didn’t they just pass a law to frack anywhere they like? bit like any time, any place, anywhere Flipper 🙂

  31. I don’t ever want to see fracking allowed to happen in Scotland. Simple as.

  32. R whittington says:

    It’s good to see the Americans finally having a good crack at football eh g-man?

  33. R whittington says:

    Anyone remember Brad Friedel? And. Didn’t they have a decent defender called something like Koby Jones?

  34. Timorous Beastie says:

    New posts, please share

  35. JLT says:

    Croompenstein / Keir Robinson

    Exactly! This is another penalty that Scots will suffer if they vote ‘No’.

    Westminster will allow fracking to happen, whether we like it or not. They will try to pass it off as cheap gas for everyone in these times of austerity, but by the time folk wake up to the fact that they have just been mugged again by Westminster, it will be too late. The rig heads will up all over the Central Belt and there will nowt we can do about it. The fracking companies will do whatever they want (and the likes of the Tory and Labour politicians as well as the establishment will be milking it for all its worth because there will be a shitload of money in it for them. For us …hee haw. In fact, you’re local taxes will probably go up just to pay for the privilege of having a drill head near you!)

    I dread to think of these things going up all over the Central Belt and Fife.

  36. R whittington says:

    I think that was the team that thrashed the Czech Republic something like 6-1

  37. R whittington says:

    All time faverout wingers….. Go!

  38. R whittington says:

    Got to be Anders Limpar for me.

  39. R whittington says:

    Giggsy is up there of coarse.

  40. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    i think that we can all agree that scotland is blessed with resources
    which, we should exploit is open for discussion.

    what isnt open for discussion is what the wealth generated by such resources for, ie, the benefit of all living in scotland.
    a yes vote is what will give us the chance to do this. I’ve just finished jim sillers “in place of fear2”, it is no surprise to me that this type of literature is now being produced, the “poor had no lawyers” is also such an aspirational text(btw, i heard about both on these threads, tx guys,)but we are not limited by existing models of how our society should be, a yes vote puts us into a position to create a society as yet, unthought of and without even a name or an ism attached. sheridan is right on this, a yes vote is not an end game, it is the start of an adventure. and if the discussion thread above is anything to go by, we have the resources and the people to make it happen

  41. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    jinky ffs

  42. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    keep the status quo and fracking is a cert.

  43. R whittington says:

    Aww. Thanks. 🙂

  44. North chiel says:

    Stoops and jlt
    Yes you are correct stoops ‘the formation pressure is overcome/”broken
    Down “and hydraulically fractured .however the original perforations
    Are via small explosive charges detonated in the well bore at the required
    Depth.thereafter the well is tracked and flow tested/ “cleaned up”
    My original point jlt was that Fracking is an old technique and not
    Some new ” wonder method” of increasing is utilised usually on “tight formations
    Only and is not “the norm” certainly as regards the vast majority
    Of reservoirs both on and offshore.

  45. shug says:

    I got my leaflet from the no campaign today

    marked it return to sender and dropped it back in the mail

    suggest everyone do the same

  46. BrianW says:

    I’ve also heard there’s some Jam down there too, but we won’t ever get it (not even tomorrow) –

    Besides, I read in the paper it’s not even a full jar, just a modest half jar – what use is that to anyone with a full loaf to make jammy pieces.

    It’s just twisted story after twisted story isn’t it.

    Is it any wonder sites like Wings, Newsnet, Bella, Small Ginger Canine are so bloody popular. Yeah they all have a Independence slant, but at least they all report things as they are, back it up with facts/references etc that the No Folk can’t do.

    I do have to take my hat of to you Stu for doing the full Carol Vorderman with the figures there.. Deserving of a round of applause – 10 points I believe.. 🙂

  47. geeo says:

    Energy alone.

    North sea oil and gas reserves.
    Off shore coal.
    Wind power.
    Wave power.
    Hydro electric.
    West coast potential of decades and decades of oil and gas.

    Did i miss anything ?

    The question is not can Scotland afford independence,
    the question is can Scotland afford not to vote Yes !

  48. Muscleguy says:

    I read the Part 2 geological report. So we don’t have the same level of gas in our shale deposits. That’s because our are more mature. Which means our shales hold more oil than gas. Apparently over time the gas undergoes chemical reactions with the shale and it makes oil.

    So the newspaper reports only only on the gas but ignores the oil prospects. Now I’m not a geologist and am not au fait on the recoverability of that oil but technologies change and even if it is not useable now, it will still be in the bank for future generations. Perhaps not to burn for energy but as a chemical feedstock. It may well be very valuable for that.

  49. Capella says:

    Still need petrol for transport unless expansion of public transport is made a priority, even then we would need an alternative to fossil fuels as the oil will eventually run out. Anybody know how to make electric cars.?
    Then there’s carbon reduction.

  50. Thepnr says:

    Not quite sure why an Independent Scotland at this time even needs to consider fracking, which at best is in dispute as to potential damage to the water table.

    Seeing as how Scotland already produces around 6 times more oil and gas than it could ever need. Also on target to have ALL of Scotlands energy produced by renewables by 2020.

    The simple fact is Scotland exports a great amount of energy production to rUK. We also export much of our best talent and all of our income.

    You can change that by voting Yes in September.

  51. Taranaich says:

    “The fact that the outcome will not be known until after a vote for independence means that a truly informed decision cannot be made in the referendum.”

    The way I read that sentence, it suggests that any decision made about the referendum cannot be truly informed – in other words, that since this information is not known, Scots are not making a truly informed decision.

    That’s a pretty scary quote – albeit one that’s true, mostly because Westminster doesn’t seem to agree that it would be worthwhile asking the EU exactly what their stance on Scottish membership in the event of a Yes vote would be. As ever, the uncertainty was created by Westminster, because the truth doesn’t serve their purposes.

  52. gordon murray says:

    Capella we have 1,000 years of hydrogen locked up as coal. 300years in the Forth Basin alone and 23thousand billion tonnes under the north sea. 100 times bigger than the US coalfield the biggest in the world.
    You can use hydrogen instead of petrol and diesel in internal combustion engines. The biggest benefit being that the only exhaust created is water.
    Or you can use it in fuel cells to drive electric motors.
    Google: five quarters energy hydrocarbon gasification.
    HM govt has already invested £1bn to develop a 2bn tonne coalfield off Teeside and the gases piped ashore at the chemical plant there.
    Hydrogen can be used as fuel,it is the most abundant element in the universe, but is much more valuable as a feedstock for industrial plastics. Grangemouth are setting up facilities to import fracked gas from the USA when we are swimming with the stuff.

  53. gordon murray says:

    Taranaich the only issue with EU membership lies with Westminster’s declaration in January last year that Scotland voted to become a region of England in 1707 and as a country thus became extinct.
    The logical consequence of this is that when Scotland becomes independent it will have to cede from England as an entirely new entity, with no rights to any assets jointly created as the UK.
    Thus England will be the sole successor state to the UK, the terms are in effect synonymous to Westminster. Scotland has no right to EU membership or to anything else.
    Now while you and I know that this is errant nonsense, no-one from Scotland has challenged Westminster’s claims so the position is won by default.
    I would contend that the UK was created by Scotland and England’s parliaments ratifying the Treaty of Union, then after that Treaty is dissolved then we are back to those two signatory states. If Scotland has to reapply for EU membership then why shouldn’t England?
    The fact is no mechanism exists to remove a member of the EU against its will. There is no mechanism to enable England to leave the EU in 2017 if it voted to leave.
    If anyone knows differently I am all ears.

  54. gordon murray says:

    Meant to say earlier that 2bn tonnes of coal will release the equivalent energy that every ounce of North Sea ‘natural’ gas(methane) since it was first brought ashore in the 60s has produced. Did I mention there’s between 3-23Thousand billion tonnes of coal 1.5 miles underground in 20 seams below the North Sea. Geological radar has pinpointed them to the dot and directional drilling technologies can now put you right on that dot. Bloody marvellous.
    The Clair oil field in the North East Atlantic is on the edge of oil reserves described as making the north sea reserves look like a drop in a bucket 100-150 years worth depending on how quickly it is extracted.
    So my question is: why are we even talking about fracking under the mainland. Why are we even talking about fracking at all? We don’t need it.
    Btw I live in Livingston. Those red shale bings are the result of oil shale being ‘cooked’ at high temperature to release their oil. At one time all the lights in London were lit with parafin from West Lothian.

  55. Sue says:

    Agree Scotland doesn’t need fracking for our own energy consumption but come on guys, that’s missing the point. Some MPs’ friends and family can get very rich by investing in fracking. They don’t have to live on the land afterwards.

    I’d be happier if Scotland had none.

  56. Lockie says:

    Stu, Well done & thanks your for unravelling this guff again for us, keep up the sterling work.

  57. macart763m says:

    Never ceases to amaze how they can take a set of facts and figures and squeeze every bit of misery out of them they can. Definitely a glass half empty system. 🙂

    Happily we’re a glass half full movement and those figures paint a more rosy outlook when met with a measure of common sense.

  58. kininvie says:


    Ah, poverty-stricken West Lothian, twinned with Kabul, I think.

    Dear Mr Grouse:
    It would have served you right to have had your flash car impounded and to have stayed the night in the Commercial Inn Blackburn(all mod cons + extras).

    I advise you to be more cautious in your glib comparisons. Don’t forget the Rev’s Bathgate origins…

  59. Rock says:

    Good to see the (once) mighty Times of London put to shame, AGAIN, by an ‘ordinary’ blogger based in Bath.

  60. Bugger (the Panda) says:


  61. ian foulds says:

    “galamcennalath says:

    1 July, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Krackerman says:
    I pity the halfwits that read this sh1t and believe it…

    Sadly, they get one vote each – just the same as those of us who seek out the truth!”

    We certainly are neither too wee or too poor. It is the third ‘monkey’ that worries me about some of our compatriots – either through ignorance/fear/brain-washing or disinterest.

    As I am abroad I only get feedback from you good people and the pathetic MSM – but what is YES Scotland doing to bring the information to the those still to be convinced?

    Time is running out – let us see the build-up to the 18th.

    Point out to the Central Belt what will happen if they vote NO – fracking.

    Point out to others the vast wealth we have in resources and what we can save by not contributing to the pig trough (Westminster) et etc etc ad nauseam.

    I have found to my chagrin the difficulty in changing one’s nationality if it is NO on 18th – I would be too embarassed after then to admit I am a Scot – and belong to a nation that seemed to take perverse pleasure in being subjugated by a bunch of greedy morons of all political parties

  62. Robert Kerr says:

    Glad AD mentioned Wendy’s problems.

    My memory of these are

    1. A brain the size of Uranus.

    2. A week bladder.

    3. Caterpillar infestations.

  63. Tom Platt says:

    As Rev Stu says:-
    If the UK uses 3 tcf of gas a year, presumably Scotland, with 8.4% of the population, uses roughly 0.25 tcf a year. 80 tcf into 0.25 tcf suggests that the shale gas thought to be in the central belt would cover Scotland’s use for 320 years, which seems quite a lot.

    I suspect though that The Times may not have given proper consideration to this report:-


  64. Fred Barboo says:

    Fallon on Scottish shale: “Turning resources into reserves would require huge investment that can only be funded by the broad shoulders of the UK-wide treasury. It’s only Scotland, England and Wales taxpayers working together which can spend the scale of investment we have seen in the North Sea that we will need here.”

    Hmm. Not quite.

    While the North Sea has enjoyed c£500bn of investment since 1970 to get it where it is, not a penny of that came from the public purse. Sure, the rates of tax applied to various fields can make or break an exploration but a reduced tax rate is NOT the same as a public investment. It can’t be a tax and a subsidy at the same time, and I can’t understand why Fallon thinks that Westminster is more able to collect tax revenue from shale than Holyrood.

    It’s all gravy.

  65. Tom Platt says:

    Fallon’s cooments needs to be compared with William Cameron McLaughlin’s findings in `A SONG STILL TO BE SUNG`, linked to earlier:-

    .. At this point, oil and gas estimates are realistic for the Scottish mainland province). The writers prediction is that nothing major will happen with Scottish onshore oil and gas until the oil and gas reserves have been exhausted or at least substantially depleted in the Scottish North Sea and the Scottish Atlantic Margin, and that could take anywhere from between 100-150 years based on a very conservative estimate and extraction rates. Given the vast area of the Scottish Atlantic Margin province, the oil and gas extraction window could last for at least 200 plus years.

    That’s a lot of Scottish oil and gas and a lot of Scottish revenues. Given that there is at least 60 plus years of oil and gas remaining in the Scottish North Sea (senior oil industry contacts actually estimate this to be at least 100 years and possibly 200 years at the very most remaining in the Scottish North Sea), that the Foinaven and Schiehallion etc., oil and gas fields in the northern Scottish Atlantic Margin have an extraction life span of at least 50 or 60 years plus, and the fact that around 80% of the Scottish Atlantic Margin remains untapped (media embargo on this at the behest of London), together with the Scottish Firths and Scottish mainland, a cumulative life span extraction estimate for Scottish oil and gas of at least 200 years plus is NOT unrealistic, nor are estimates of total cumulative Scottish oil and gas revenues of around £4 TRILLION over the life cycles of all Scottish oil and gas provinces.


  66. Grouse Beater says:

    Kininvie said: It would have served you right to have had your flash car impounded

    A three-wheeled van would be a flash car to those cops.

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