EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The Scottish government said Tuesday it set up an independent committee tasked with examining the energy sector of a possible independent country.
Scotland plans a referendum on independence next year. The government said it assigned Melfort Campbell, joint chairman of an oil and gas advisory group at Scottish Enterprise, to lead an expert commission on Scottish oil and natural gas development.
"The commission will provide independent expert advice on the technical application of the policy framework in an independent Scotland," a government statement read. "In doing so it will consider how the fiscal, regulatory or licensing regime in an independent Scotland could address the future challenges facing the sector, and harness the opportunities available."
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said early this year an independent Scotland would be able to sustain itself in part from the revenue generated from oil reserves. The government estimates there are nearly 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil and natural gas remaining in the North Sea.
"This represents a vital opportunity for the industry to have a say in what oil and gas policy could look like in an independent Scotland," Campbell said in a statement.