Oil sector reform
Following the launch of our recent report on the oil and gas sector we noted with interest the report from Oil and Gas UK calling for major tax changes for the sector.
We likewise share this call for fundamental changes to the way the industry is taxed and regulated (your report, 6 August). Whatever the result of the referendum, it is essential that if we truly want to boost the sector government policy and decision makers responsible for oil and gas taxation and regulation are moved from London to Aberdeen.
We also need a more competitive tax regime. Such a regime will have the effect of both maximising the economic contribution made by the oil and gas sector and extending its productive period.
Australia, Canada, USA, Malaysia and Singapore are widely praised for their stable taxation regimes; the UK is not.
Such measures must also be tied up in a long-term oil and gas industrial development plan to foster economic growth, echoing the strategic approach taken in Norway.
The UK Continental Shelf has already been in production longer than was predicted in the 1970s and 80s with more than £1 trillion worth of hydrocarbons having been produced since 1970.
At least as much value remains to be produced but we must act now to ensure that the remaining potential of Scotland’s offshore oil and gas reserves is fully realised.