Energy Voice | North Sea ‘alive and well’ as tax receipts back to black

A huge swing in North Sea oil revenues signals the industry is alive and well, a sector leader said.

UK Government revenues from oil production climbed to £1.18 billion in 2017-18, from the previous record low of minus £316 million the previous year, new figures from HMRC show.

The government attributed the improvement to higher crude prices and the industry’s efforts to lower costs during the downturn.

Corporation tax repayments fell by 68% from £558m to £179m as oil companies recorded fewer new losses.

OGUK upstream policy director Mike Tholen said: “The oil price improvements in recent months will have helped but much of the tax improvements you have seen in 2017-18 were at much lower oil prices.

“So the improvements were coming despite the oil price changes and indeed the oil price will help.

“Funnily enough I think the industry likes to see us paying taxes because it shows that we are making profits, that we are an attractive place to invest and that signals that the industry is alive and well, despite the troubles of recent times.”

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