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North Sea Oil Faces Worsening Investment Drought After Brexit

  • Second independence poll is ‘very much on the table’
  • U.K. industry is already suffering a slump in spending
Updated on

The U.K.’s North Sea oil and gas industry, already reeling from low prices and high costs, now faces a worsening investment drought as the nation’s decision to quit the European Union looks set to trigger a second independence vote in Scotland.

A poll on Scottish independence from the U.K. was defeated in 2014, but after voters there overwhelmingly backed the losing side in the referendum on EU membership a new vote is “very much on the table,” Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on June 26. This leaves the North Sea oil and gas industry, the bulk of which is in Scottish waters, potentially facing years of uncertainty and political paralysis.