Scottish independence: SNP’s Shetland oil pledge

NICOLA STURGEON today pledged that Shetland would reap the benefits as the islands enter a “second oil boom.”

Nicola Sturgeon said that Shetland is on the cusp of a second oil boom. Picture: John Devlin
Nicola Sturgeon said that Shetland is on the cusp of a second oil boom. Picture: John Devlin

The Deputy First Minister is campaigning on the islands today amid growing speculation that test drilling on the Clair Ridge project west of Shetland is exceeding expectations.

The SNP Government has already agreed that greater community support should be considered to compensate for vast industry development on the islands and oil revenues should be used for this.

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Shetland could also benefit from offshore energy resources with 100% of revenues from the islands seabed going to the community, under SNP plans.

“Shetland is on the cusp of a second oil boom,” Ms Sturgeon said today.

“Anyone who comes here can’t miss the hundreds of workers coming on and off the islands and the impact all of this activity has on small island communities,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“We can give Shetland a greater say in the future of the industry for the first time in 40 years.

“With independence we can create new opportunities in Shetland to support the local economy, invest in communities and grasp the potential of not just energy but rural industries, tourism, and culture for the future.”

It came as Shetland MSP Tavish unveiled plans to introduce a new Bill at Holyrood to ensure the SNP Government’s proposals for the islands will be enshrined in statute.

Scotland’s islands have emerged as a key battleground in the referendum campaign after the Our Islands Our Future campaign was launched by Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles aimed at using the independence debate to secure more powers from Holyrood and Westminster.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael last week launched a framework between the UK Government and the three Scottish islands councils in the event of a No vote.