A friend of mine wrote to Jorma Ollila, the Finnish non-executive chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, expressing concerns about a speech chief executive Ben Van Beurden made in March.
The reply he received was illuminating – it underlined Shell’s confidence in the long-term prospects of the North Sea industry post-independence, and concluded thus: “We are used to operating in uncertain political and economic environments but, given a choice, we want to know as accurately as possible what investment conditions will look like 10 or 20 years from now…
“I want to finish by reassuring you that Shell can and will work collaboratively with whomever is in power in Scotland after the referendum to ensure our industry has an environment in which to ensure its long-term future.”
This is a far cry from the No camp’s exultantly doom-laden version of Shell’s position.
One wonders how many other companies, if robustly challenged, would feel compelled to disclose an equally realistic standpoint, post-referendum.
Perth and Kinross