Friday, 11 February 2011

UK lacks investment to harvest 20-year North Sea oil supply

Hannon Westwood, a specialist consultant on North Sea oil, has urged the Government to use tax allowances to encourage investment in 90 key oil discoveries that could yield the Exchequer $44bn (£27bn) in the next two decades.

Clarity over whether clean-up costs can be offset against petroleum revenue tax as well as help with access to pipelines and credit would also encourage more North Sea field development, the consultancy said.

Some 20bn barrels of oil are believed to lie below the UK continental shelf, enough to power the country for the next 20 years. However, Jim Hannon, director at Hannon Westwood, said developers are unlikely to raise the investment needed without Government assistance.

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