The announcement by researchers at Heriot-Watt University that Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques they have developed could add decades to the lifespan of the North Sea oil and gas industry has been welcomed by the SNP.
The researchers have developed a technique of using low-salinity water injection to improve the output of oil production in a relatively inexpensive way.
Commenting, SNP MSP Maureen Watt said:
“This latest development is potentially very significant for the future of the oil and gas sector and underlines that just as we have consistently said the North Sea oil and gas industry has a bright future ahead of it.
“New technology that has the potential to extend the lifespan of oil and gas fields could be hugely significant for jobs and Scotland’s economy and I am sure that this announcement will be met with a great deal of interest in the industry. It also backs up the recent comments by Professor Alex Kemp that improving technology will increase the viability of existing oil fields and yet to be discovered fields.
“With the right support the oil and gas sector can go from strength to strength and reap the full benefit of new developments such as this – but for that to happen there can be no return to the shock tax raids and uncertainty we have seen in recent years from the Westminster Government.”
Commenting on the extraordinary development of David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg abandoning Prime Minister's Questions and coming to Scotland tomorrow in a last minute panicked reaction to Yes surging in the polls, First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"The No campaign is in complete and utter disarray, and they are making this farce up as they go along.
"Together, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are the most distrusted Westminster politicians ever - and their collective presence in Scotland will be another massive boost for the Yes campaign.
"In trust ratings, David Cameron is minus 50 in Scotland, Ed Miliband is minus 44 - and Nick Clegg is off the the scale at minus 59. They are minus more than 150 together.
"The message of this extraordinary, last minute reaction is that the Westminster elite are in a state of absolute panic as the ground in Scotland shifts under their feet.
"David Cameron refused to take part in a debate in Scotland, and reneged even on a pledge to go into an STV studio to talk to undecided voters.
"The No campaign think that they are losing this campaign - and these hugely distrusted Westminster leaders trooping up to Scotland is only going to boost that process. It is also a commentary on the farcical event of their three Scottish representatives today, who had barely finished their press conference when it was obviously judged to be completely ineffective.
"The No campaign are making blunder after blunder, but this is by far the biggest yet.
"While No continue to get it badly wrong, Yes will continue with a campaign that is energising Scotland and galvanising support the length and breadth of the country. We need to vote YES to put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands - not the hands of a discredited, distrusted Westminster establishment."
With the penultimate Prime Minister’s Questions before the referendum taking place today, John Swinney is highlighting an independence bonus for people and families from switching hundreds of millions of pounds of spending from Westminster priorities to Scottish needs.
Mr Swinney said around £600 million a year can be saved from cutting Westminster projects – which include Trident – and spent instead on helping people in Scotland with improved childcare, lower energy bills and other benefits.
Mr Swinney said:
“Scotland is one of the richest countries in the world, wealthier per head than France, the UK and Japan.
“We have generated more tax than the UK for every one of the last 33 years and people in Scotland will always spend our money much better than Tory Chancellors like George Osborne.
“More and more people are waking up to the opportunities of independence, such as controlling our own budget, so that we can spend our taxes on policies that benefit many more people in Scotland.
“The current Scottish Government has identified savings of around £600 million a year by taking different decisions from Westminster.
“By getting rid of Westminster politicians we can save nearly £50 million alone. To put that in perspective that’s around the same amount of money needed to mitigate the costs of Westminster’s bedroom tax, which has penalised thousands of disabled and other people.
“With independence any future government will have full control of Scotland’s finances - so never again will we be forced to fund policies that have been overwhelmingly rejected by people in Scotland.
“That means we won’t have to use taxpayers’ money to mitigate the impact of the cruel bedroom tax or pay a share of the obscene £100 billion cost of a new generation of nuclear weapons.
“And why are we spending millions on the unelected House of Lords?
“The sight of Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons is a stark reminder of what a No vote means – Tory-led governments people in Scotland don’t vote for, imposing policies we don’t support and charging us for the privilege.
“A YES vote means the opportunity to control economic and tax policy so that many more people in Scotland benefit from our wealth and vast natural resources. That’s why we’re better off with Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”