11.00am update 9 February 2015
The head of a private equity firm based in London’s West End has today joined the chorus of calls for the UK chancellor to take action now to help the North Sea oil industry.
John Hutchinson, Managing Partner at Epi-V, today told Scottish Energy News: “With some commentators suggesting North Sea oil production faces being wiped out – it’s even more important that the Chancellor acts on cutting taxes.
“If the jobs of the 450,000 people who work in the North Sea and its supply chain and the 1.4 million barrels a day that is produced are to be safeguarded, what the Chancellor is reported to be considering should only be the starting point.
“With ageing fields and continually rising production costs combined with what could be a more long-lasting low oil price environment, the Chancellor could well be forced to act again either by cutting taxes further or introducing other incentives for drillers to keep the wells pumping.”
Epi-V is a London-based private equity firm providing growth capital to companies in the energy sector, making investments of between £2 and £10 million.
Since 2007, it has invested in oil field services technology, providing capital, industry insight and commercialisation competence to companies targeting growth markets in the global upstream sector.
Meanwhile, a new report due to be published this week is set to confirm that the N. Sea oil industry is in for a tough two years.
And, according to the report from Infield on global subsea activity, Innovation and new technology will be crucial in helping the UK subsea sector, which supports 60,000 jobs, to weather the current storm.
Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK and Dr. Gordon Drummond, Project Director, are set to reveal the National Subsea Research Initiative report in Aberdeen on Wednesday (11 February).
Meanwhile, the SNP is today calling on the UK Government to bring forward immediate support for the North Sea oil industry after Sir Ian Wood warned that up to six billion barrels of oil reserves could be abandoned without reform of the tax regime for offshore drilling.
Mark McDonald, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside, said: “The comments from Sir Ian Wood are yet further evidence of the need for immediate action from the UK Government. As we know only too well decisions about jobs and investment are being made right now and industry leaders need certainty from the Treasury to safeguard jobs in our oil and gas industry.
“Oil and gas industry leaders have repeatedly said that simplification of the tax regime is needed and an immediate cut to the supplementary charge is required to help the industry stabilise and grow again”.