- Figures adjusted after correction by reader Matt
Remember the OBR was a George Osborne creation and that it regularly forecast doom and despair for an independent Scotland back in 2014. These same forecasts were widely and gleefully used by our Unionist media. Here’s how Energy Voice reported today’s story:
‘A new report predicts UK oil and gas revenues will be £400million higher every year from now until 2023 – in the latest sign that the North Sea is on the mend. In its fiscal and economic outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said its revenue forecast had been revised upwards due to higher oil prices, increased production and lower costs. The Oil and Gas Authority recently lifted its long-term forecast for North Sea production by 2.8billion barrels of oil equivalent to 11.7billion barrels.’
They then predict tax revenues of £1 billion for each of the next five years.
Here’s how I do the sums:
11.7 billion barrels at $60 per barrel, at least, equal total revenue of $702 billion. Production costs estimated by the BP chief, last year, to be no more than $15 per barrel equal $175 billion. So that’s $527 billion or £376.83 billion, in profit, before wages and shared dividends yet the OBR thinks we only get £5 billion in tax revenue for the first five years. *So that would be £34 billion by 2050. Isn’t that a bit low? UK corporation tax at 20% would give us more than £75 billion. What’s going on here?
It will be interesting to hear if the Chancellor uses the same measly figure and if it’s challenged at all.