Based on research led by Professor Alex Kemp at the University of Aberdeen and reported in Energy Voice today:
The North Sea energy industry could recover another two billion barrels of oil if operators can collaborate on untapped discoveries, according to a new study Aberdeen University has researched more than 400 undeveloped offshore discoveries in the UK, holding a combined 6.7billion barrels of oil, of which many are too small to be economically produced on their own. However, the study has shown that developing several fields in “clusters” with shared infrastructure could mean 1.9billion barrels can be recovered at today’s $60 oil price using modern technology.
Of course, Scotland would only benefit from this if it can be taxed by a Scottish Treasury. For a reminder of how the Eton Schoolboys in the Civil Service and on the boards of the oil companies would collude to have it ‘spaffed up a wall’:
Posted on September 3 2018
As the FT has reported this morning:
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.