Gasonomics – The Economics of the Welsh Gas Industry

Milford Haven Port traffic on 31st January 2019. Credit: vesseltracker.com

Every published report on the Welsh economy says that we are a basket case and that we receive far more in ‘handouts’ from the UK government than we contribute. But it is clear from the a study of the Welsh gas industry that even when we have a flourishing local business, the true benefit to the Welsh economy is hidden. Read More

Welsh Oil Discovery

The Douglas oil complex, 15 miles off the North Wales coast. Image by Ian Mantel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50535836

I had always believed that the Liverpool Bay oil and gas fields themselves were in English waters – and only processed in Wales. But when I overlaid the ‘Welsh Zone’ boundaries onto an oil and gas map of Liverpool Bay, I was surprised to find that the Douglas Field is clearly within Welsh waters. The Douglas platform (in Wales) receives gas from Hamilton and Lennox fields (in England) as well as oil and gas from Douglas field itself so not all of the gas processed at Point of Ayr is Welsh sourced. But one thing is clear: Its Our Oil !! Read More

Paraffin Heaters and Seaweed Gin

Wales has always had an affinity with the Basque Country. The status of the Basque Country and its ancient language ‘Euskara’ within Spain is very similar to that of Wales and Cymraeg within the UK. While the languages are not even remotely connected, recent DNA research suggests that the Basques, Irish & Welsh are closely related – and we even share the same colours for our flags. Read More

Energising the Case for Independence

A DeltaStream tidal energy turbine about to be installed at Ramsey Sound in Pembrokeshire. Image credit: WalesOnline

Tthere’s surprisingly little correlation between a country’s natural resources and its average wealth, and resource-rich countries with high incomes and healthy economies such as Norway are very much the exception rather than the rule. Read More

The Norway Option

The Oslo skyline at night. Image credit: visitnorway.com

The nordic countries, on the other hand – by which I mean the three Scandinavian countries (Norway/Denmark/Sweden) plus Finland and Iceland – offer a much closer parallel to the British Isles than the Balkans do. For much of history since mediaeval times they were dominated by Sweden in just the same way that England has dominated the British Isles over a similar timespan, but one by one they have gained their independence (most recently Finland, after a period spent under Russian domination) and are nowadays associated with everything that the Balkans are not. Read More