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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of workers in the North Sea and other offshore oil and gas fields: meaning of designated area

Section 41(2) ITEPA 2003

Designated area means an area designated by Order in Council under Section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act, 1964. These areas comprise, broadly, the United Kingdom sector of the continental shelf. They extend in the north to latitude 62N. They are divided into quadrants numbered from 1 to 211, and each quadrant is subdivided into up to thirty blocks. An offshore location is usually identified by the quadrant and block number in which it is situated, for example, the Piper field is in block 15/7 and the Brent field is mainly in 211/9.

Action when there is a claim that duties performed on the continental shelf wereoutside of the designated area

If an employee claims that his or her duties on the continental shelf were performed outside the United Kingdom designated areas, obtain the following facts:

  • the name of the platform, barge, vessel or rig on which the duties were performed
  • the names and address of the employer
  • the quadrant and block numbers of the area where the duties were performed
  • the dates between which the duties were performed.

If you are then still unable to determine in which sector the duties were performed, submit the case to Large Business Service (Oil and Gas Sector).