APPEA: Macfarlane nixes Aussie industry tax breaks

Australia's Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has rejected calls from the oil and gas industry for government to provide tax breaks to stimulate investment in LNG projects (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2007).

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

ADELAIDE, Apr. 18 -- Australia's Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has rejected calls from the oil and gas industry for government to provide tax breaks to stimulate investment in LNG projects (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2007).

The Minister told delegates to the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference in Adelaide that the industry should seize the opportunity to expand its gas programs before overseas customers decided to 'leapfrog' this fuel and go straight to the nuclear solution to greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the Australian industry already has plenty of incentive in high world oil and gas prices and that the government has given industry accelerated depreciation on upstream assets already and provided a 150% tax break for working in frontier exploration areas.

"If the industry does not get down and go hard, companies may find customers go straight to the one proven base-load, zero-emission technology for the production of electricity," he said. "That's nuclear.

"The oil and gas industry needs to ensure it develops projects quickly to optimize the high gas prices, particularly for LNG, that we are now seeing around the Asia-Pacific Rim."

Macfarlane was responding to a 64-point strategy document released on the eve of the conference that called for stimulation of the industry by providing tax relief and depreciation allowances.

He said his comments were delivered to industry as a caution rather than a warning.

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