Royal Dutch Shell received a huge UK tax credit due to North Sea decommissioning costs

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Brent Delta Oil Rig Platform Rests In Seaton Port
Shell received a tax credit from the UK for decommissioning costs (Source: Getty)

Royal Dutch Shell paid over $55.6bn (£43.7bn) to governments last year, but in the UK it received a tax credit as a result of decommissioning costs, according to a report.

Shell received a $142.5m tax credit in the UK primarily for decommissioning costs in its North Sea business, according to the oil major's report on payments to 31 governments where it and its subsidiaries have upstream operations.

The firm paid $8.2m to the UK government in fees.

Shell has dismantled the Brent Delta platform in the North Sea, which stopped production in 2011.

Brent Alpha and Bravo ceased production in 2014, while the Charlie platform will continue to produce oil "for some time", Shell said earlier this year.

Read more: Investors push Shell to detail how bonuses will be tied to carbon emissions

In 2016, the Anglo-Dutch firm paid a total of $4.4bn in income taxes, $2.3bn in government royalties and collected $48.9bn in excise duties, sales tax and similar levies on fuel and other products on behalf of governments.

The countries with the highest payments were Nigeria ($3.64bn), Malaysia ($2.67bn) and Norway ($2.53bn).

"Shell believes that transparency is an essential tool in building trust in tax systems. Society expects clarity on the revenues that extractive industries pay to governments and at the same time expects governments to be open about the revenues they receive and how they use these funds," said Shell’s chief financial officer, Jessica Uhl.

Read more: Shell shareholders approve CEO Ben van Beurden's pay

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