JAKE Molloy has been working around oil and gas for more than three decades. He is a man who knows the industry better than most.

When he speaks about the North Sea, oil production and costs, he does so from a place of knowledge and experience. His is a voice worth listening to.

That Molloy, a trade unionist and fierce fighter for workers’ rights, is a man not well liked by the bosses, the shareholders and the owners should only add weight to his voice.

When he says there needs to be “some honesty and transparency because nobody is grasping what’s going on”, governments and ministers should sit up and take notice.

It is telling that analysts who question the consensus are unwilling to talk and go public. Surely as soon as they do they will be blacklisted and find it hard to keep work.

The basics are that the quarterly national accounts showed the amount received by Scotland in tax receipts between January and March was £168 million, down from £742m in the final three months of 2014. In the first three months of last year, £969m was generated for Scotland’s share of oil revenues.

In its oil and gas bulletin in May last year, the Scottish Government estimated that oil revenues would be between £15.8 billion and £38.7bn between 2014/15 and 2018/19.

Its latest bulletin, published in June, said revenues could be as low as £2.4bn for 2016/17 to 2019/20, with its highest estimate at £108bn, based on a best-case scenario of the oil price returning to $100 per barrel.

Molloy is right that there is “lots of oil and gas still out there”, and if it’s going to be fully exploited then there must be a stable fiscal regime.

For that regime to exist there needs to be clarity, honesty and transparency.

This is far too important an industry to be playing politics with.

Murdo Fraser and the Tories exclaiming with glee that the SNP’s pre-referendum calculations were “wildly wrong” is pretty outrageous considering this is an industry that employs 440,000 people in the UK.

It is about the Tories once again painting Scotland as too wee and too poor to be independent. Of course that looks true when the figures are stacked against us.

Scotland is still leading the way with innovation

IT is worth noting that Finance Secretary John Swinney has always said oil and gas is a bonus.

We only need to look at the work happening in the technology sector in Edinburgh to see another way Scotland can prosper and thrive.

The news that Edinburgh University supported the formation of 44 start-ups and three spin-outs in one year is incredible.

Over the past five years 184 companies have been created, adding to the more than 400 established since the university’s first recorded spin-out more than 40 years ago. The university says that the businesses formed over the past five years have created 343 jobs.

Impressive as those figures from Edinburgh are, it’s worth remembering there are equivalent records being replicated around the country.

We rightly take pride in our history as a country of innovation. By the looks of things, so will those who come after us.