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Scottish Minister Urges UK to Ensure Sustainability of North Sea Oil, Gas

© AFP 2022 / POOL / ANDY BUCHANANA picture shows employees working on the BP ETAP (Eastern Trough Area Project) oil platform in the North Sea, around 100 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland on February 24, 2014
A picture shows employees working on the BP ETAP (Eastern Trough Area Project) oil platform in the North Sea, around 100 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland on February 24, 2014 - Sputnik International
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Scotland's First Minister called on UK Prime Minister to announce a package of measures to sustain the North Sea oil and gas sector.

EDINBURGH, January 15 (Sputnik) – Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to introduce tax changes to sustain the North Sea oil and gas sector.

"I <…> ask that a substantial package of measures be announced without further delay in order to safeguard investment, jobs and the long term sustainability of the North Sea," Sturgeon said in a statement.

French oil giant Total started gas and condensate production from the West Franklin Phase 2 project in the British part of the North Sea - Sputnik International
Total Oil Giant Launches West Franklin Phase 2 Gas Project in UK North Sea
"If this is not forthcoming UK Government policy in relation to the industry will be found seriously wanting once again," he warned.

The Scottish government is specifically calling for an "investment allowance" that would support oil fields that have higher operator costs. They also want Cameron to reverse the increase in the "Supplementary Charge" implemented in 2011 that increased the UK Treasury's tax take.

In addition, the First Minister called for an "exploration tax credit" that would sustain future production and increase exploration.

The move comes as British oil giant BP, which employs 3,500 workers in the North Sea, announced a first round of redundancies of staff, with 300 jobs axed following a review of the company's operations. It follows the dramatic fall in the price of a barrel of oil which hit $46 a barrel earlier in the week. In July 2008, the price of a barrel of oil was at a record $147.

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