Alex Salmond
Scottish Independence: SNP’s Alex Salmond Swats Away UK Government Oil and Gas PledgeReuters

The Scottish National Party's leader Alex Salmond has attempted to diffuse some of the attractive pledges that the UK government has promised for Scotland's oil and gas sector by claiming that the country would be better at managing the lucrative energy industry post-independence.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Salmond said that the oil and gas would be more stable, if Scots voted to leave the UK in September this year.

"One of the things that a Scottish control of oil and gas would offer is a much more stable long-term policy," said Salmond.

Salmond added that the UK government has already made 16 changes to the oil and gas sector in the North Sea over the last decade.

Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that the UK government is aiming to cut the red tape surrounding Scotland's oil and gas sector in a bid to unlock £200bn (€242bn, $343bn) reserves and win support for the country to remain part of Britain.

"I promise we will continue to use the UK's broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race," said Cameron in a statement.

The UK government's meeting this week is aimed at persuading the Scots to vote 'No' when they will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Scotland retains around two thirds of all income from profits and employment due to the North Sea oil and gas industry to a tune of over £10bn.

Highlights from UK Government's Latest Oil and Gas Plans

The British economy could receive a potential £200bn boost over the next 20 years, through the recovery of an additional 3-4 billion barrels of North Sea oil and gas.

The recommendations stem from a report by Sir Ian Wood, which is a 'ground-breaking' review on maximising recovery from the UK Continental Shelf.

The government says it will carry out a series of measures to help 'unlock the investment':

- By improving the efficiency with which the industry operates

- Increasing production of oil and gas by one third

The government hopes that this will boost jobs in an industry that already employs 450,000.