The SNP has accused the UK government of a 'massive cover up' after hidden files revealed the Ministry of Defence blocked a potential oil boom in the west coast of Scotland in the 1980s.
The Sunday Post reports today that a cache of UK government documents, letters and internal briefings from the early 1980s confirm the MoD blocked exploration despite the "possibility of finding oil or gas".
The hidden files show three firms, including BP and the then state owned British National Oil Corporation, undertook seismic surveys in the area south of Arran and east of Kintyre in early 1981. They also show BP applied for a production licence in the same year but the MoD asked for no drilling rigs in this area.
SNP MSP for South Scotland Chic Brodie, who uncovered the files, said:
"We now have clear evidence the MoD in the early 1980s made it very clear to the Department of Energy it would not tolerate oil drilling and production in the Firth of Clyde.
"This is another McCrone-type deception of the potential use of Scotland's natural assets.
"I am angry that the people of Scotland have been deprived of the economic benefits and income that would have flowed from oil and gas production.
"This is yet another massive cover up by the UK government and the people of Scotland deserve so much better."