Centrica field will run on and off

Centrica’s gas field at South Morecambe will not resume constant activity because of punitive tax measures, say the company. The South Morecambe gas field reopened on 28th May after closing […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Centrica’s gas field at South Morecambe will not resume constant activity because of punitive tax measures, say the company.

The South Morecambe gas field reopened on 28th May after closing for maintenance work, but the parent company of British Gas announced that they expect the field “to operate on a more intermittent basis in future.”

Centrica blame the move on an increase in supplementary corporation tax that means the South field is now taxed at 81%.

A spokesman for the company said: “At this level of tax, profitability of Morecambe South field can be marginal”.

The company could end up buying gas for their customers in the wholesale market if it “makes more economic sense”, added the spokesman.

Morecambe Bay field can produce around 9 million cubic meters of gas per day, equivalent to around 6% of the UK’s annual gas requirements or up to 12 per cent of residential gas demand.

The tax increase put in place by Chancellor George Osborne has worried some members of the oil and gas community, with trade representatives Oil & Gas UK warning it may put off investors.