BP CEO Bob Dudley. Image courtesy of BP.

BP CEO Bob Dudley said Wednesday that he opposes Scotland’s bid for independence because it would jeopardize the financial stability of oil operations in the North Sea.

Dudley said the region is “best served by maintaining the existing capacity and integrity of the United Kingdom.”

BP has invested billions of dollars in the North Sea and currently has 14 assets in the area.

Dudley said that investment opportunities in the North Sea are smaller and more challenging than ever before.

“Our business invests for decades into the future. It is important our plans are based on a realistic view of the North Sea’s future potential and the challenges the industry faces in continuing to operate here,” Dudley said.

With the vote for independence only a week away, those supporting and opposing independence have publicized vastly different assessments of Scotland’s oil and gas reserves.

Pro-independence groups said Scotland’s North Sea reserves could be as large as 21 billion barrels of oil equivalent recoverable through hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional methods.

Energy industry experts have challenged those numbers.

Sir Ian Wood, founder of the energy consulting firm the Wood Group, said the estimates promoted by pro-independence groups are inflated, calling them the “worst of many examples of false or exaggerated claims.”

Dudley said he agrees with Wood’s conclusion and believes the North Sea “is now mature.”

The vote will take place on September 18.


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