World Bank and United Nations’ Scots oil expert says UK tax-cuts could boost N. Sea industry

North Sea oil well drillingAberdeen MSP Kevin Stewart has welcomed an expert study backing the SNP’s call for action on North Sea jobs in George Osborne’s budget.
The study, by Prof Alex Kemp and Linda Stephen of Aberdeen University, said that tax breaks could significantly boost new field development and exploration across the UK North Sea.
Prof Kemp – a leading oil and gas expert – said that a reduction of the headline tax rate and immediate relief on the Investment Allowance could have “a significant positive effect on investment in new fields”.
Prof Kemp argued that Investment Allowance relief and interest on unused Investment Allowance would be “progressive” as they would benefit marginal projects more than profitable ones.
SNP conference this weekend called for the UK Government to reduce the headline rate of tax, remove barriers to exploration and to provide tax relief on decommissioning. The SNP has proposed a number of actions the UK Government can to take to support the industry, these are:

  • A substantial reduction in the headline rate of tax, with the primary objective of creating an internationally competitive tax regime in the North Sea.
  • Removal of fiscal barriers for exploration and enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
  • Fiscal reforms to improve access to decommissioning tax relief and encourage late life asset transfers. This will reduce costs and help prevent premature cessation of production
  • Urgent consideration of additional non-fiscal support, such as government loan guarantees, to sustain investment in the sector

MSP Kevin Stewart commented: “This latest intervention by North Sea expert Prof Alex Kemp backs the SNP’s position that the UK Government should be using their upcoming budget to back the North Sea industry.

“The UK Government have received £300 billion in revenues from the North Sea over the last few decades – now is the time to give something back so that this industry can still have a future.


Professor Alex Kemp (right) is congratulated by University Principal, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, on half a century of service to the University of Aberdeen.
Professor Alex Kemp (right) is congratulated by University Principal, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, on half a century of service to the University of Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, Professor Alex Kemp has been honoured for 50 years of service to the University of Aberdeen.

The milestone was recognised at the University’s Long Service Awards, which were held recently in the Linklater Rooms at the Old Aberdeen campus.

Professor Kemp received a Quaich from University Principal Professor Sir Ian Diamond in recognition of his long association with the University, which began when he started work as a lecturer in political economy in 1966.

Now internationally renowned as a leading petro-economist, Professor Kemp’s long career has seen him advise the Scottish and UK Governments, the World Bank, and the United Nations on energy economics.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his contribution to the sector has been recognised through a variety of awards, most notably an OBE which he received in 2006 for services to the oil and gas industries. 

In 2012 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Offshore Achievements Awards, and became the first person to be inducted into the North Sea Hall of Fame.

Prof. Kemp is one of the key speakers at the University of Aberdeen’s conference on MAXIMISING ECONOMIC RECOVERY in the NORTH SEA (see details, below)

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MAXIMISING N. SEA ECONOMIC RECOVERY – the Issues: Aberdeen 14 April 2016

Dear Colleague,

You are invited to attend a conference that we are holding in April at the University of Aberdeen at which we will consider the Issues in Delivering MER within the new environment in which the UKCS is now operating. 

We are confident that we have created the very first conference of this kind, where a range of speakers from academia and industry will debate the major legal, organisational and technical issues, many of which have not yet been discussed or debated in sufficient detail, and are not yet common knowledge.

The conference will offer you significant opportunity to hear from key experts, network with fellow colleagues and get involved in the key areas of discussion.

Find out full details and register for the event here. Upon registration we will send you out a full schedule.

     Sir Ian Diamond, Principal, University of Aberdeen
     Paul Goodfellow, Shell UK
     Gunther Newcombe, OGA
     Graeme Young, CMS
     Derek Leith, EY
     Prof. John Paterson, University of Aberden
     Amec Foster-Wheeler
     Prof. Alex Kemp, University of Aberdeen

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