‘Hefty’ North Sea profits call for Norwegian-style taxation but will probably be ignored

In Energy Voice yesterday:

‘Neptune Energy’s first ever results reveal hefty profit. Neptune Energy’s inaugural set of financial results revealed profits in excess of £250 million in the first half of 2018. Revenues were just shy of £800m as the company pumped out 166,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the reporting period. Pre-tax profits totalled £262m at Neptune, which did not own any producing assets last year.’


However, it seems unlikely the UK Treasury will meaningfully tax this income any more than it did the profits of Shell (see diagram above) in the previous two years. Professor Richard Murphy has an explanation:

‘But why does the Treasury care? If it assists the spin that Scotland cannot survive on its own, I suspect that’s considered a price worth paying. And I would not be at all surprised if that is part of the political motivation for this.’


For more on the failure to tax North Sea wealth, see:

‘Huge swing in North Sea oil revenues’ suggests tax fiddle

Correction: Office for Budget Responsibility massively underestimates North Sea oil revenues

Up to 400 new jobs for Shell field in North Sea. Lots of tax revenue too? No?

Why were tens of billions in oil revenues lost by UK government? Would they have made Scotland seem too wealthy in September 2014?



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