Despite all of the furore and excitement about the prospect of striking oil off our shores just 125 explorations wells have been drilled.
Norway, a country almost insulated from the travails of the world because of its oil and reserves and its prudent management of those resources, drilled around 1,000 wells. There are twice that number in British waters.
It would be preposterous at this very early stage to imagine that the solution to all our woes lies under the seabed but we must at least do all we can to establish if this is a pipe dream or a real chance to rebuild our country.
Just as any sale of national assets might not realise the best price at the moment it might be difficult to get a good deal from the exploration companies who might wish to be involved in this exercise but we can surely improve on the disappointing and suspicious deals of the past.