In Insider today:
‘Equinor to buy stake in North Sea’s Rosebank project. The oil and gas field is one of the biggest prospects on the UK Continental Shelf.Bottom of Form Norwegian oil company Equinor has confirmed that it is to buy a 40 per cent stake from Chevron in the Rosebank oil and gas field, one of the biggest prospects on the UK Continental Shelf. Equinor said in a statement: “We look forward to becoming the operator of the Rosebank project. We have a proven track record of high value field developments across the North Sea and will now be able to deploy this experience on a new project in the UK.’
And from Oil & Gas UK:
‘The Rosebank project is one of the largest known pre-Final Investment Decision (FID) developments in the UK (sic) Continental Shelf. With over 300 million barrels which could potentially be recovered, Equinor’s track record of successfully developing complex and challenging fields means they are well matched to maximise economic recovery from Rosebank.’
By 2019, 300 million barrels, from just one field, could be worth £30 billion!
An alleged lack of new field development is commonly used by our Nomedia to weaken optimism around increases in the value of Scottish oil. See these:
Another North Sea Oil development begins production. It’s called the Western Isles platform and it’s 100 miles east of Shetland – I know, misplaced, but at least it’s a better name than Lancaster, Loyal or Bombardier!
Footnote: Why is a Norwegian company so keen to get involved? Well one reason might be the obvious one – they’ll pay much less tax than in a Norwegian field. See:
Tom Mitro, who managed Chevron’s taxation and financial planning in the North Sea in the 1990s, said [a new tax] scheme could deprive the Treasury of more than £3bn in tax over the next decade.
“Overall impact on the Exchequer of [the transferable tax history scheme] could range from virtually zero to roughly [a] £3bn [plus] reduction in tax receipts over the next 10 years depending on oil prices and [the] number of asset sales and decommissioning [of North Sea platforms and pipelines],” he said in a research paper prepared for Global Witness, the non-governmental organisation.
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.’