What's the best vote for Scotland's Oil and Gas industry? (Day 106)

What's the best vote for Scotland's Oil and Gas industry? (Day 106)

10th September 2014

There's one thing that the Queen and IChemE have in common - they (we) are both neutral on Scottish Independence.

However, there are lots of individuals in the chemical and process industries that have chosen to support one or other of the two campaigns - Better Together or Yes Scotland.

One of the latest opinion polls by YouGov from 6 September shows just how tight the vote will be on 18 September: The 'Yes to Independence' group has a slight edge at 51 per cent, with 49 per cent stating 'No'. According to YouGov, it's a 'statistical dead heat' with just days to go.

If you've been following the debate, you'll know that energy, oil and gas has been a major debating topic. It's an important industry to both the UK and Scottish economies.

Yes Scotland has stated that an independent Scotland could net £600 billion potential in off-shore oil and gas. The Better Together camp suggest the prediction of future oil production from the North Sea is up to 60 per cent too high.

IChemE has over 3,500 members in Scotland and over the past few months, the Institution's members in Scotland have been helping the debate along by providing opportunities - for and against - to consider the impact of independence on the oil and gas Industry in Scotland.

IChemE Member, Sanjoy Sen, has hosted these events and has even created a useful website positioned in the neutral camp.

Once you step away from the bruising political debate, most people in Scotland seem to want to know the practical implications of independence on issues like health, tax, pensions, the economy and jobs.

Chemical engineers are no different and given their importance to the oil and gas industry - as key players in plant design, refining and process safety to name a few roles - it seemed appropriate that we sought their opinions in an IChemE survey.

The survey, which closed on 1 September 2014, attracted 345 respondents, 98 per cent of which are eligible to vote in the referendum on Scottish Independence. The survey attracted a strong response from younger members with more than 55 per cent of respondents aged under 40.

As previously mentioned, IChemE has a neutral position on Scottish Independence, but the graphs below represent the views of around ten per cent of IChemE's members in Scotland.

Good luck to everyone in Scotland on 18 September for this once in a lifetime vote.


If you'd like to find out more about the referendum, there are some excellent programmes on BBC iplayer.