UK Energy Minister Defends New Oil Tax

U.K. Energy Minster Brian Wilson defends the new tax on the offshore oil and natural gas industry, saying it will ensure a good balance between encouraging investment and taking a fair return for the country on the exploitation of national resources.

The government announced the 10% tax on all profits generated from oil and gas operations out of the U.K. when the budget was unveiled in April, spurring strong reactions from offshore producers who warned that hundreds of jobs could be lost. "There are still plenty of opportunities for profitable investment in the North Sea," Wilson said in statement released by the Department of Trade and Industry. The DTI said Wilson made the remarks, his first regarding the tax since the budget was announced, at a conference in London on future investment in the North Sea. "The recent changes to the tax regime announced in the budget will ensure that there is the right balance between encouraging and promoting investment and taking a fair return for the country on the exploitation of a national resource, " he said. "Overall, new fields will continue to enjoy one of the most favorable tax regimes amongst major oil-producing countries," he said.

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