So the political row over North Sea oil continues. The concept of Scotland having more say over its oil and gas assets makes “common sense”, according to Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, responding to the “hands off” warning from Westminster (see yesterday’s blog).

Mr Salmond said: “You have to glance across the North Sea to Norway to see a country that controls its own resources in such a positive way for the benefit of society.”

Salmond was responding to comments from David Cairns, the Labour Scotland Office minister. Salmond said: “The trouble with David Cairns is that he takes a very negative view. He talks of instability – the instability the industry has had comes from having a different energy minister every year and a different taxation system every two years. That’s what happens with a Westminster government.”

He added: “What this industry needs to hear is a government with a positive vision for the future of oil and gas and the future of the energy industries. Those politicians that try to deny Scotland access to our own resources are living in the past.”