The Scottish Government has vowed to establish an oil fund if Scotland becomes independent.
If you’re going to follow anyone’s example, Norway’s not a bad choice, investment-wise. And an SNP researcher (an impartial source, no doubt) pointed out the forecast increase in Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.
However, the report seems a little too concerned with past trends. It’s easy to cast hindsight upon what the oil would be worth if Scotland had been independent. What’s far trickier is trying to predict what the oil and gas markets will do in the next year. With shale gas booming in America and hissing in Europe, with Russia beset by falling production rates and political chess games, with Azerbaijan and Central Asia eyeing the EU market and Russia and China moving closer together, it’s not only impossible to tell what will happen in the next year, but even if it’ll be good for Scotland’s oil.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out that, contrary to the SNP’s analysis, the oil and gas industry will be vital for increasing Scotland’s economy and living standard above the UK average. Any development in the world’s oil and gas industry will send shock waves through Scotland.