THE Tory UK Government has been accused of being two-faced on energy after claiming Scotland’s oil was running out in the run up to the independence referendum.

SNP MP Steven Bonnar said the duplicity of the Tories was “off the scale” after they announced plans to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea in the King’s Speech

In the run-up to the 2014 referendum, several warnings were given to Scots that oil and gas were running dry.

In July 2014 for example, Robert Chote, then-chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility, wrote to the Scottish Parliament to explain why he believed there would be a sharp fall in oil and gas tax receipts in the coming years.

Bonnar told The National's Holyrood Weekly podcast: “The duplicity is off the scale.

READ MORE: Four times we were told Scotland's oil was running out

“These are the people in 2014 that were telling us there is no more oil, forget about your oil. There’s no future in oil, we'll be seeking a green future.

“And here we are, there’s been 100 new licences granted, Rosebank [oil and gas field] has been approved and now there’s the commitment to grant new licences every year as well.”

In the months running up to the King’s Speech announcement, drilling was approved at Rosebank – off the coast of Shetland – with Rishi Sunak stressing it was the “right long-term decision” for securing oil supplies in the UK.

The National:

It is said to contain up to 300 million barrels of oil and is owned by Norwegian energy giant Equinor. It is expected to start producing oil from 2026, but it will not cut energy prices for UK consumers as it will be sold at world market prices.

That news came as Sunak announced hundreds of new licences for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.

Amid all of this, many people have found themselves thinking back to when Scotland was told oil would run out.

READ MORE: SNP MP: 'Ridiculous' pomp of King's Speech must be toned down

In an explosive interview with the specialist website Energy Voice the month before the 2014 referendum, oil tycoon Ian Wood warned the Yes side’s projections for future oil revenue were too optimistic, and his comments were seized on by the Better Together campaign.

No campaign leader Alistair Darling calling Wood’s assessment “devastating”.

And just days before the independence referendum, the Washington Post ran a story filed from Aberdeen, which quoted energy economist John McLaren saying Scotland’s energy reserves weren’t what they were in the 1980s.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson told reporters it was estimated there is still around six billion barrels’ worth of oil laying in wait beneath the North Sea.

Bonnar said Scotland has never benefitted from its energy wealth and, going forward, Holyrood needed to have powers over the sector so it could turn that around.

“This [the granting of oil and gas licences] is going to make no difference to people who are struggling day-to-day with their energy costs,” Bonnar added.

“It won’t make any difference to my constituents.

“Scotland’s oil has not benefitted Scotland for many years, in any way shape or form. The finances from it have been shipped down to the south of England.

“We need the just transition, but Sunak has rolled back on many of the green commitments and continues to hammer through in that vein.

“Scotland needs to be in control of industries like this because then we can make it work for Scotland and we can also make sure the companies extracting those profits are reinvested in the green and renewable future that we have the potential to be world-leading on.

“The profits are grotesque but we also need these companies to be at the forefront of the renewable change.”