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North Sea fiscal refresh: the government’s new consultation

Why has the UK government launched the consultation?

According to the consultation overview there is still a considerable amount of oil and gas left to recover – equivalent to up to about 21bn barrels of oil – in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Around 40bn barrels have been recovered in the past 40 years but the government recognises that exploration and production is becoming harder and more expensive and that the UK faces competition for capital from other countries.

We believe that conditions in the UKCS have reached a tipping point in the eyes of many investors. Whether it is grounded in perception or reality the combination of rising costs falling production deteriorating efficiency reducing and disappointing exploration results and the impact of tax increases are all having a...

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