EXPLORATORY DRILLING OFF NW EUROPE IN DOLDRUMS

Exploratory and appraisal drilling off Northwest Europe is languishing, largely because of tax policy changes. Last year's U.K. government decision to remove exploratory and appraisal (E&A) drilling tax benefits has hit first quarter offshore activity levels. In the same period Norway's offshore operators made no commercial hydrocarbons discoveries, while tax levels have killed drilling off Netherlands. Those are the findings of Arthur Andersen Petroleum Services (AAPS), London, in a

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