As your editorial indicated (2 April), the SNP played right into Ed Balls’ hands by betting the house on oil prices and it is simply not true that “everyone got it wrong”. Frank Wolak, Stanford University’s head of commodity price studies and a major figure in the field, predicted global oil prices would collapse and stay low for the next ten years.
The primary reasons he gave for continuing low prices include the industrialised world’s slowing demand for oil and ever-advancing technological change in its extraction and use.
He now suggests the most likely medium-term outcome is $50 to $70 per barrel, which sadly just about closes the door on renewed activity in the über-expensive North Sea basin.
(Dr) John Cameron