Politics of oil

Perhaps the alarming fall in oil price is the “new challenge”
facing the nationalists’ new leader (Perspective, 16 October).

What “ought” Nicola Sturgeon do as the role of oil figured large in her independence campaign?

One problem is consumers welcome falling prices on the forecourt but then tax revenues also fall. Also, of course, the interests of nationalist supporters in the Central Belt conflict with the North-east, especially as the economic viability of North Sea oil depends on a stable but relatively high oil price.

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Most significantly, what Ms Sturgeon ought to do is limited by the global politics of oil which are shifting.

Apparently, political turmoil in the Middle East hasn’t led to uncertainty in oil markets and price rises. Nor do we have Opec, the oil producers’ cartel, meeting in order to reduce its supply. Another potential problem is what will happen to Russian oil and gas if economic sanctions bite.

Arguably because North Sea oil is intertwined inextricably in global politics there is little or nothing Ms Sturgeon “ought” to do.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk