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This document follows a 12 week review of the tax regime applicable to oil and gas activities on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). It summarises the background to the review, work completed, an assessment of the opportunities in the UKCS, an assessment of the case for change in the fiscal regime and the government’s plans for reform.
Underpinning these reforms and future oil and gas fiscal policy are the following principles:
- to be consistent with the objective of maximising economic recovery as new projects become ever more marginal, the overall tax burden will need to fall as the basin matures
- when making judgements about fiscal policy, the government will consider the wider economic benefits of oil and gas production, in addition to revenues
- the government’s judgement of what constitutes a ‘fair return’ will take account of the global competitiveness of commercial opportunities in the UK and UKCS, and take account of both commodity prices and costs
The government is confident that the changes it is making recognise the continuing importance of a successful oil and gas sector to the UK economy and send a clear signal that it is part of a UK that is open for business.
The government has called on stakeholders to submit their thoughts on the future of the UK oil and gas tax regime.
The review, which the Chancellor announced at Budget 2014, comes at an important time for the UK Continental Shelf.
There is still a considerable amount of oil and gas left to recover – up to around 21 billion barrels of oil (boe) equivalent.
The basin is currently attracting record levels of private investment but exploration and production is becoming harder and more expensive, and the UK is facing competition for capital from other countries.
This call for evidence will explore how the tax regime can continue to encourage investment in the North Sea and help maximise the country’s oil and gas resources for the UK, whilst ensuring the nation continues to receive a fair share of profits.
The call for evidence marks the beginning of 12 weeks of discussion with the oil and gas industry and other stakeholders about the long-term shape of the tax regime.