OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS?                                                                                                                                                                                             By             Continue reading "OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS?"




                                                                                                                                                                                    Sally Hughes

I’m getting to be somewhat cynical in my ‘auld-ish’ age.  Whenever a big subject is laid on the table to be dissected, discussed and debated by the great and the good, and the folks in the street, more often than not I suspect it to be a distraction and search high and low to find the curtain behind which the wizard is hiding.

Interesting then, to turn that mindset, on events historical.

About a year ago, I was researching the extent of Scotland’s oil reserves and a bit about it’s history, when I speculated, if the reason the British Army and Government ‘suddenly’ became concerned about the mistreatment of Catholics in Northern Ireland (1969) had anything to do with Oil being discovered in Scottish waters – at about the same time.  Perhaps there was oil in them there waters also.

And I may not have been too far off the mark.  Exploration concentrated initially on gas, but started roughly in 1965, with success.  The blatant Gerrymandering in Londonderry – 1967.  Riots in Northern Ireland escalating….  Major oil discoveries, and British Army entering Northern Ireland – both late 1969.  

But, at this time, the oil and gas were being looked for and found primarily to the east and north of Scotland’s shores….

I recently, for the purposes of achieving an Independent Scotland, helped produce the attached map – showing Scotland’s marine area, compared to England’s.  And a retired army officer pointed out… if Northern Ireland reunites with Ireland, the sea area boundary to the north of Ireland and west towards Rockall will be re-drawn and a large section of this sea area re-allocated to a United Ireland.

Potentially a lot of oil and gas under them there waves, (not to mention the renewable energy possibilities now apparent).

So, what to take away from this speculation?  And I must stress, it is purely speculation on my part.  

If it is correct, then it indicates the British Establishment were not responding to events, but were engineering them (to a degree), or encouraging them, a good 4 – 5 years before sending in the troops.  Given the history of Ireland, and the American sympathy, they would have needed a cast iron excuse to send in the troops…. and since that is not a cheap thing to do…. securing a big energy pay off would make sense.

I don’t know how deep the seas are to the North of Northern Ireland…. which is one reason why the North Sea was first explored (shallow seas, even though rough, the technology of the day could cope with drilling in them).  And I don’t know how many exploration licenses were issued to this part of the ocean, licenses which Westminster departments allocate.  But I’m willing to bet the initial surveys could tell, even back then, that the rock types were similar and looked promising.

Or perhaps, Perfidious Albion, just mistreats and keeps territory, as a matter of course, a feature, not a bug.

Perhaps we will never know.  But for the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland, I’d suggest speculation of this type is worth thinking about.  Particularly if one area breaks free from the UK before the other.

The pressure on England to keep a tight grip on the remaining part of United Kingdom will be even more extreme than at present.

Or will birds of a celtic feather flock together.

One thing is for sure, by thinking thoughts such as the above… we can start engineering the peace now.  

Eirin and Alba gu Bragh


Sally openly admits this article is laced with speculation but it may be not far off the mark. We know extensive oil is present in the Firth of Clyde, a number of years ago an oil exploration company advised me it was highly likely substantial oil was located off the West coast of Scotland. They argued that was why they were struggling to get a licence to explore several areas of the West coast where they were very confident oil would be found. The reason licences were impossible to access was political. They told me the UK Government could not risk having a host of new discoveries being found as it would tip Scotland towards Independence. So it would not surprise me at all if Sally’s speculation is established as fact in due course.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland


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