A consortium of companies, including BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron. have announced a further £330 million investment in the Clair oilfield 75 km west of Shetland. This field has previously benefited from government largesse to the tune of £4.5 billion and is estimated to hold around 8 billion barrels, the plan is apparently to drill 12 new exploratory wells.
At the moment there is a particular political resonance to this issue. The Referendum on Scottish Independence is due on 18 September 2014 and energy reserves and their economic power come into this. Alex Salmond has already been accused of cherrypicking forecasts to boost the case for Independence and our local MSP, Tavish Scott made a recent speech at the Liberal Democrat Conference advocating "home rule" and claiming "...it's wir oil" adding to the local debate around Shetland's status regarding independence.
Politics and jobs seem to be a much greater priority for many than the planet.