Editorial, The Economist | November 19, 2008
The largely unknown British oil industry was one of the largest in the world, but is now running dry. ++ The drilling platforms off the shore of Scotland gave Prime Minister Thatcher a one-time economic boost that funded her economic policies. ++ The possibility of an independent, oil-financed Scotland has not made oil popular in the UK. ++ Production has fallen 40% since 1999, and Britain has dropped from being the world's 6th largest oil producer to its 17th. ++ The importance of oil to the UK may only be realized once it is gone.