ABERDEEN, Scotland, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he expects a huge tax benefit from oil and natural gas production from the Scottish waters of the North Sea.
Salmond said the oil and natural gas reserves left in the North Sea have an estimated value of nearly $2.5 trillion.
"Almost all oil production and more than half of total gas production over the next three decades will take place in Scottish waters," he said in a statement Monday. "And, of course, only through independence would Scotland receive the tax revenues from this production."
Scotland holds a referendum for independence from the United Kingdom later this year. The British government said plans announced Monday to revitalize the North Sea oil sector were made as if the country stayed united.
Salmond announced separate plans Monday to build a $17.6 million oil and natural gas innovation center in Aberdeen that he said will develop pioneering solutions for the energy sector.
"As an international oil and gas exporter, Scotland is undeniably a main player and that is why it is so important we harness the expertise of our universities and bring them together with industry," he said.