Monday, 24 August 2021 08:52

North Sea oil revenues drop 75% in first quarter of 2015

North Sea oil revenues drop 75% in first quarter of 2015

North Sea oil revenues fell 75% over the first three months of 2015 to their lowest ever level, according to Scottish Government figures.

The latest Quarterly National Accounts show that £168million was generated in tax from the sector between January and March this year, down from £742million in the last quarter of 2014, and £969million in Q1 of the same year.

In the Scottish Government’s most recent Oil and Gas Bulletin, published in June, it reported that a worst-case scenario could see the industry pull in just £2.4billion in revenues between 2016/17 and 2019/20.

It also predicted a best-case of £10.8billion, however this was reliant upon a 17% increase in production, operating efficiencies of 30% and an increase in the price of oil to $100 a barrel.

The latest revenue figures were unearthed by the Scottish Conservatives. The party’s finance spokesman, Murdo Fraser, said: “The plunge in oil revenues for the first three months of this year is incredible. We knew the price of oil was volatile, and that this would be a risk. But to see such a radical drop is alarming.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Our oil and gas bulletin, published in June, confirmed that Scotland remains, by some margin, the biggest oil producer in the entire European Union.

“Recent provisional figures from DECC suggest that May saw the most oil and gas produced in the North Sea since March 2012. If this trend is sustained production could increase this year for the first time in 15 years.

“Oil, however, is a bonus, not the basis of Scotland's economy. Even without it, Scotland's output per head ranks third of the 12 countries and regions of the UK, behind only London and the South East.”

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