Breakingviews

Scottish secessionists in bind over North Sea oil

September 4, 2014

Both sides of the independence debate are arguing over how many barrels are left. Oil revenue is key for an independent Scotland to manage its finances. But the need to raise funds could undermine an equally vital imperative: tax breaks to incentivise flagging exploration.

Nigeria raises Sino spectre to win better deal

September 29, 2009

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Reports that China’s state-owned oil company CNOOC is bidding for up to 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent in Nigeria’s current licensing round, contained in a letter leaked to the Financial Times, look like a negotiating tactic rather than a sign Nigeria is about to sell a sixth of its proven reserves to China.
The letter from President Umaru Yar’Adua’s office to CNOOC’s representative Sunrise, rejecting the company’s bid terms as “unacceptable” but promising to consider an improved offer, can only have reached the media from the president’s office or the oil company. Since the company has no interest in leaking a rejection letter, we can only assume it came from the Nigerian side.