Our Oil Industry Must Be Protected

Sovereignty believes that the Scottish Greens are a danger to the Scottish oil industry and the many oil related jobs, direct and indirect, that society will be using oil products for another 50 years until non-oil replacements are in place, that the oil industry in Scottish waters must be protected, and where appropriate new oil fields, eg Cambo, should be opened.”

Motion passed at the Sovereignty Annual Congress, Dundee, Saturday, 22/04/23

“Should we replace oil in modern society? The answer has to be No. If this upsets the Scottish Greens, too bad, modern society has to check reality, now and again.

No modern economy has ever been close to being powered purely by wind and solar because most of our primary energy usage is not electricity. A big problem with wind and solar is that they are hopelessly intermittent.

No battery storage is workable at grid level. Renewables have the highest levels of use in UK, Denmark, Germany and California; guess the 4 places that have the highest energy prices? Yes, UK, Denmark, Germany and California. Subsidised renewables mean high energy prices with the poorest suffering most.

Without reliable energy, every aspect of modern day life, as we know it, is finished.

There are some 6,000 products1 which we use every day which derive from fossil fuels with no economic, green substitutes.

The obvious products from oil are butane, diesel fuel, fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, propane but there are so many other uses.

Take out and look at your smartphone. 45% of the World population has a phone, 3.5 billion phones and rising.

A range of materials in varying quantities go into the making of a smartphone—including glass and metal for the exterior, lithium for the battery and silicon for the chips.

One constant is the importance of oil and natural gas. Plastic and/or fibreglass is needed for circuit boards, and wiring. Plastic is often used in the body construction.

Plastic comes from hydrocarbons. The website Statista2 says oil is the second most used material in smartphones after silicon.

Natural gas and oil power industrial processes needed to generate other materials, like aluminium, iron and rare-earth metals that go into the making of a smartphone.

Plastic, from oil, provides the protective cover, is lightweight, making it easy to store or carry. Moreover, plastic is inexpensive compared to its counterparts.

So, you want to be green, and look the environment, well get an electric car. But the Visual Capitalist3 web site says that electric cars are 50% plastic from petrochemicals, although they only represent 10% by weight.

The average car uses over one thousand plastic parts, weighing 342 pounds. These plastics can be as strong as steel, retain their structural integrity but light enough to save on power.

Remember, plastic comes from hydrocarbons, even for electric cars.

Britain is a net importer of oil. So, if we leave oil and gas in the North Sea, we will have to get it from somewhere. So, for the sake of the environment, we can import oil from the other side of the World brought to us by big, heavy fuel guzzling tankers4 from extractors who may, or may not, have good, clean extraction methods.

Heavy fuel is available at low cost, is thicker and less refined compared to other fuels, and emits more black carbon than any other fuel when burned.

All this, remember, for the good of the environment!

Instead of Scotland making money from the oil and gas in the North Sea, we will pay out for it from somewhere else, hurting our balance of payments, so not sound economics.

The Ukraine situation has thrown up energy security as a major issue. If we become dependent on other countries to provide us with energy, what happens if they decide to switch us off?

Revenue from Scottish oil and gas production will be crucial for the financing of a newly independent Scotland. In the 70s, they said we would be lucky to get 30 years out of oil, here we are 50 years on, there is oil still there, industry still needs oil, and our economy still needs oil.

Simply put, there is, at this point, no alternative to oil, and the use of oil.

Disagree if you want, but you and the Scottish Greens will take Scotland back into the Stone Age.

I move the motion.”

Speech by Brian Nugent, Party Secretary, Sovereignty.

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-petroleum-products-2069393
  2. https://context.capp.ca/articles/2020/pirl-smartphones/
  3. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-much-oil-electric-vehicle/
  4. https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-products-and-fuels-made-from-crude-oil/