NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Scottish independence: Minister says referendum brings oil uncertainty

The UK energy minister has described the independence referendum as "a point of uncertainty that could cause concern" to oil and gas firms.

Charles Hendry's comments came as he launched the latest round of licensing for offshore exploration.

The Scottish government branded Mr Hendry's comments "the height of of hypocrisy".

SNP ministers said the only uncertainty was being caused by the UK government's taxes on the North Sea.

The supplementary tax on North Sea oil production rose from 20% to 32%, to fund a cut in UK government fuel duty.

The Scottish government has named autumn 2014 as its preferred date for the referendum.

Meanwhile, the average wage of an offshore worker in the UK was said to have risen to almost £56,000, according to the Oil and Gas Salary Guide, which was compiled using data from 50 countries.

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