A JAPANESE trading conglomerate is the latest firm to consider leaving its oilfield in the North Sea following George Osborne’s 12 per cent tax hike on the industry.
Marubeni Corporation has put up for sale all but one of its North Sea oilfields, according to a weekend report. It is said to have hired Standard Chartered to find a buyer for a group of fields worth $100m (£62m).
North Sea oil firms were shocked in March when the Chancellor George Osborne announced a surprise tax hike on offshore fuel explorations. The additional $2bn tax on the sector, raised from 20 to 32 per cent, has spurred many top firms to re-evaluate whether it is worth investing in developing new fields.
Some oil fields, which pay petroleum revenue tax as well as corporation tax, face a marginal tax rate of 81 per cent.
Centrica said in March it was considering shutting down operations in Morecambe Bay, Britain’s biggest gas field, which closed in April for maintenance work. Statoil also cancelled two of it projects worth $10bn.
City A.M. was unable to reach Marubeni for comment.
TIME LINE | THE NORTH SEA TAX EXODUS
23 March 2011
In his budget, Osborne announces a supplementary tax on North Sea oil
firms, meaning rate will rise from 20 per cent to 32 per cent.
29 March 2011
Norwegian oil company Statoil suspends development work on its $10bn
(£6.2bn) Mariner and Bressay fields, south-east of Shetland, to review
whether investment after the tax hike is still worthwhile.
30 March 2011
Gas giant Centrica, oil explorer Valiant and French group Total
announced that they are reviewing current and future investments in
the North Sea.
17 April 2011
John Watson, the chairman and chief executive of US energy company
Chevron, criticises North Sea oil tax rise saying it made Britain “one
of the more unstable investment climates for our business”.
19 April 2011
Oil & Gas UK meet with Osborne to discuss tax hike. The trade body’s chief executive, Malcolm Webb, said the tax had “damaged investor confidence.’
1 June 2011
Centrica says that it will scale back or even halt production at one
of its Morecambe gas fields , which it closed for maintenance in April, thanks to the government’s tax hike.
10 June 2011
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond announces proposals to limit North Sea oil and gas tax hikes, which he said would hit industry investment.
19 June 2011
Marubeni Corporation said to have put up for sale all but one of its North Sea oilfields.