North Sea Oil: A significant ‘boon’ perhaps?



Sometimes one can juxtapose economic forecasts that should convince voters to take such judgements when expressed with certainty with a large pinch of salt. Forecasts associated with oil & gas especially fall into this category. For interest – and ‘amusement’ – here are quotes from two articles published in the online magazine, .

Headline, 7 September 2017: ‘The North Sea Oil Recovery Is Dead In The Water’.

Firstly, the positives about the North Sea: ‘The oil majors say they have overhauled their cost structures in the region, making production profitable in today’s $50 market, even when the region struggled to be profitable with a $100 oil price a few years back. BP SAYS COSTS OF (sic) HALVED TO JUST $15 PER BARREL.’ (my emphasis)

But then the doom: ‘So, far from a boon for the country, the North Sea is in danger of becoming “a significant annual expenditure for government, RATHER THAN A PROVIDER OF INCOME” in the decades to come, according to a Wood Mackenzie assessment from earlier this year.’

Fast forward to the headline in dated 29 September, 2022: ‘The Idea Of A Windfall Tax On Oil And Gas Is Gaining Popularity’

‘Earlier this year, the U.K. government announced it would be introducing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies operating in the U.K. to alleviate the pressure on consumers. The Labour party proposed such a tax early on, suggesting the government could raise $1.3 billion to provide consumers with subsidies on their home energy bills.

‘The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak agreed to introduce an energy profits levy (EPL) in May, to tax oil and gas companies on their earnings – which have significantly increased in recent months. The EPL could be in place until the end of 2025 and AIMS TO RAISE $5.43 BILLION as part of a broader $16.3 billion consumer support package.’

So a provider of $5.43 billion of income to the UK government – a significant ‘boon’ perhaps? Quite a turn around from that 2017 sentiment. And quite a turnaround from 2014 forecasts too!


2 thoughts on “North Sea Oil: A significant ‘boon’ perhaps?

  1. I had to laugh at the oil exploration map for the new fields the BBC ministry of misinformation was highlighting , all the potential new oilfields shown where of the North East coast of England. Delusion thinking or deliberate slight of hand. We dont want those pesky Scots to realise thet have all the oil so let’s pretend England has some.
    Dissolve the Union.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep delusional. It takes years to prospect for oil, and costs are huge, even with new tech in geological terms. Then there’s the small matter of building platforms and other infrastructure, not cheap. No company would invest a penny unless they have a damn good idea about getting a huge return for the bother. They know where the oil is, in the North sea, and there are other oil fields in other parts of Scottish territorial waters. Personally, I wish it was ‘running out’ then maybe the English government would leave Scotland alone to scratch a living from growing oats or tatties. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.