Half value of North Sea oil and gas ‘yet to come’

Half the value of North Sea oil and gas is yet to come, according to Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. He made the claim today at an SCDI Oil & […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Half the value of North Sea oil and gas is yet to come, according to Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.

He made the claim today at an SCDI Oil & Gas conference where he suggested there is a trillion pounds’ worth of assets still under the sea.

However he said taxes for the sector were unfair.

Mr Salmond said: “The Chancellor’s decision last March to increase the supplementary charge paid by North Sea operators on their profits has been damaging to the prospects in more challenging and mature fields. The lack of consultation about the increase also undermined business confidence.

“With more than half of the value of North Sea oil and gas reserves yet to be extracted – representing an asset with a wholesale value of a trillion pounds – it is vital that the industry sees long-term stability in the tax regime.”

The Treasury wouldn’t comment on next month’s Budget in advance but a spokesperson told ELN: “It’s a matter for the Chancellor who will consider it as part of the Budget process.”

The industry supports almost 200,000 jobs in Scotland and has generated almost £300 billion, at today’s prices, in taxation revenues, according to the Scottish Government.