OGJ Editorial: The UK royalty promise

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has kept a promise to abolish royalty on the UK North Sea's 30 oldest oil and gas fields. The move boosts investor confidence weakened by the surprise enactment in April of an extra tax on North Sea producers.In a Nov. 26 budget statement, Brown set a long-awaited date for royalty abolition: next Jan. 1. Fields approved for development before Mar. 31, 1982, now pay royalty of 12.5% on the gross value of oil and gas, adjusted for costs of transportation, treatment, and initial storage. Royalty-paying fields include such venerable producers as Brent, Forties, Buchan, Claymore, Frigg, Heather, and Viking. Fields receiving development appro...

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