An independent Scotland

The next possible surprise for oil and gas producers working on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is one that can be seen coming. On Sept. 18, residents of Scotland over the age of 16 will have the chance to vote on this question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Because much UK oil and gas production is in Scottish waters, the referendum raises many questions for the industry. At first glance, independence—which is not certain to occur—might seem ominous. The campaign for it emerged from liberal politics—energized initially, according to some observers, in reaction against the UK's conservative swing while Margaret Thatcher was prime minister in 1979-90. And it receiv...

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