The Editor's Perspective: UK North Sea hit by new tax, new uncertainty

The worst thing about the UK government's new supplementary tax on North Sea oil and gas profits is what business people hate most: uncertainty.Imposition of the tax surprised the industry. Effects on the oldest North Sea fields are unsettled. And the motive-other than money-is unclear.In effect, the move raises the corporate tax rate for North Sea producers to 40% from 30%. Easing the blow for some is an increase in capital allowances for first-year North Sea investments. The government will consider abolishing the 12.5% royalty on production from fields approved for development before April 1982.The changes might help operators with heavy investments in new UK North Sea projects. Th...

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