Oil job losses

In June Alex Salmond boasted $135 a barrel was a conservative price estimate for oil but the December reality is that 35,000 oil and gas jobs will be lost over the next five years.

Despite record investment last year, only 15 wells were drilled in the North Sea as production costs soared 15 per cent and companies started to focus on Norway and North America.

The future for one of the most expensive offshore basins in 
the world looks bleak and 
the sad fact is that much of our infrastructure is over 30 years old.

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On the bright side, green luddites are not going to prevent the opening of Scotland’s vast, proven beds of shale to fracking which will replace most of the jobs lost in the North Sea.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews

Donald Lewis (Letters, 9 December) rightly voices concern about the speed of the SNP latest tax increase in his letter on a “tax on aspirations”.

However, he and the rest of Scotland should count their good fortune for the No vote, as the promise of largesse blindly accepted by 1.6 million Scots was based on the former first minister’s estimate of the oil price reaching $150 a barrel.

As Peter Jones suggests 
(Perspective, 9 Decmber), and this week’s Opec meeting confirms, the worst of the price drop of oil is yet to come.

With a Yes vote, the taxation required to support the SNP promises would have been devastating and public spending cuts would have been painful and extensive.

Voters in Gordon beware!

E A McLaren

Evesham, Worcestershire