Energy Discussion Session

Energy Discussion Session John Dunthorne, Director Moray Firth Partnership

Q: Maureen Macmillan/MFP: Why are there no commercial wave application devises installed in Scotland as they have in Portugal – why there and not here?
A: Calum Davidson (CD): Scotland has magnificent wave and wind regimes – unique systems. The problem is getting the power out – we must improve the national grid. Commercial and connectivity interlinked – in Portugal they have the waves less than 10 km’s from the grid in Lisbon. We just don’t have that in Scotland.

Q: Stewart Campbell/Alness Initiative: Re the road tankers/haulage of oil from Lybster to Nigg – how many a week are we talking during this trial period? Will this increase? The road really is quite poor – surprised to hear this is the best option.
A: Peter O’Sullivan (PO’S): 7 – 8 per day - normal business traffic.

Q: Stewart Campbell: You do know that there is a railway – rail tankers?
A: PO’S: The study looked into it there is no adequate rail infrastructure – loading would be an issue.

Q: Peter MacDonald/FoMFD: Why are small oil companies coming to the fore? High oil price – is that why you’re here?
A: John Woods (JW): The price of oil was a lot lower when we invested in Beatrice. In my 30 years oil experience, what goes up inevitably will come down.
A: PO’S: The North Sea is in the second half of it’s productive life and very large discoveries are less likely. Production volumes are decreasing. The majors need to move elsewhere for there production requirements which leaves the field open for the smaller players.

Q: Gill Bishop/Environmental Consultant: Queries re road haulage from Lybster to Nigg.
A: PO’S: Road transport came out the better option as it reduces handling the oil therefore less risk of waste and environmental impact form spill. Should the road trial prove not to work in practise then we will need to look to invest in sea freight infrastructure/handling.

Q: Martin Hind/Ranger: Production costs per barrel?
A: Both oil people were reluctant to say! PO’S stated that onshore fields costs could be managed better – last longer – costs are variable not fixed.

Q: Alan Airey/FoMFD: What of the 25th licensing rounds?
A: JW: Ithaca bidding on those blocks.
A: PO’S: Caithness bid in the 25th round.

Q: Pollard/Holm Community Council: In light of industrial relations at Grangemouth, do you foresee any problems, are there any concerns?
A: PW: No. Issue was re pensions – Talisman staff being kept on same terms and conditions.
A: PO’S: No

Q: Peter MacDonald: We’ve heard from HIE re renewables – why do we need oil? The MF is an SAC, it’s protected, and there should be no exploration in the SAC. Can’t the MFP kick the oil companies into touch?
A: Sinclair Young: MFP is a neutral broker, take a balanced approach and need to see the issue from both sides.