SCOTLAND must use “its voice” to stand up for its energy sector – or risk the “decades of theft of Scotland’s huge oil bounty” being repeated with renewables, a former minister has said.

Former justice secretary Kenny MacAskill, now the deputy leader of Alba, also called on the Scottish Government to prevent the closure of the Grangemouth oil refinery.

It comes as The National marks the 50th anniversary of the infamous McCrone Report – which was kept hush-hush by Westminster mandarins because it shone a light on the bumper economic asset of Scotland’s oil reserves.

MacAskill has been campaigning to prevent the closure of the Grangemouth oil refinery – which it’s feared could result in the loss of around 400 jobs.

Read more from our McCrone 50th Anniversary special edition here:

But he said there was a new risk in the form of renewables – saying Scotland was not seeing enough benefit from the growing green energy sector.

He said: “Since oil was first discovered in Scotland’s North Sea we have been lied to and robbed.

“Since the oil started flowing around £300 billion in today’s money worth of oil has flowed to the UK Treasury. International capital keeps the profits, Westminster keeps the revenues and Scots are left to foot the bill.

“Despite Westminster telling Scots five decades ago that there wasn’t much oil there, last year the highest ever amount of revenues went to London whilst Scotland is faced with the absurdity of having its only oil refinery closed down.

“To make things worse, the decades of theft of Scotland’s huge oil bounty is now being repeated with renewables. The value is hidden from us, our asset taken from us and we get little in new jobs and businesses created.”

The National: Grangemouth Refinery

And MacAskill said the Scottish Government must do more to save the Grangemouth oil refinery. 

He added: "At the time of McCrone we had no Parliament and no voice. Now we do. It’s time for it to use its voice to demand that Grangemouth must stay and that the absurdity of an energy-rich Scotland with fuel-poor Scots must end. The Scottish Government need to stand up for Scotland. “

We told previously how ministers appeared to have accepted its fate as all major players at the site accepted its “transition”.

Owners Petroineos want to turn it into a fuel import hub, which would be a much smaller operation than the refinery.

Unite, which represents workers at Grangemouth, and the Scottish Government maintains ambitions for it to become a biofuels factory – though there are fears this could be blocked by Westminster plans for limits on sustainable fuel for planes.

And we revealed previously how the UK Energy Minister snubbed Energy Secretary Mairi McAllan’s request for a meeting on the site’s future.