Shale and coal

Commentators predicted falling oil prices would act as a brake on production but research suggests the industry can weather prices much lower than the average cost of production.

They are likely to cut production only when the oil price falls below the marginal cost of production, which for both US shale and the Persian Gulf is about $10 to $20 a barrel. Receding global demand as well as the growing productivity and efficiency of the US oil industry may lead to a sustained fall in the relative price of oil and related energy prices.

Scotland will be in a desperate position as a result of the dash for wind and the exorbitant North Sea oil basin unless Holyrood realises our energy future depends on shale and coal.

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(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews