North Sea oil industry costs taxpayers more than £300 million

The North Sea oil industry cost taxpayers £312 million last year, the worst since records began nearly 50 years ago.

North Sea oil industry cost the taxpayer £312 million, according to HMRC.
North Sea oil industry cost the taxpayer £312 million, according to HMRC.

Revenues plummeted into the red for the first times due to low oil prices while there were high operating costs.

“Government revenues have declined over the last few years from £10.9 billion in 2011/12, to -£312 million in 2016/17,” reported HMRC.

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“Significant investment in both existing developments and new projects is resulting in continuing high levels of expenditure.

“This combined with a halving of the oil price between 2011/12 and 2016/17 and a 10% decline in oil and gas production over the same period contributed to the reduction in government revenues.”

In addition HMRC said petroleum revenue tax revenues fell from -£562 million to -£650 million, while corporation tax reduced by more than 50 per cent to £338 million from £713 million.

It was predicted last year that 2015/2016 would be the first time tax revenues would dip into the red, figures predicting a loss of around £21 million. However, the year ended with the oil industry £151 million in the black, which was the worst result since 1978.

There was more positive news with Statoil announcing that they would create about 1,500 jobs between 2017 and the end of 2018 through the construction of the Mariner field.