Scotland business

HMRC: UK oil and gas tax revenues pick up

Oil installation Image copyright Getty Images

Oil and gas tax revenues in the UK have gone back into the black after two years of losses, according to official figures from HMRC.

Tax receipts have risen significantly to £1.1bn for 2017-18. The previous year saw a record loss of £316m.

Petroleum revenue tax is still in the red because of tax credits but corporation tax receipts have shot up to £1.76bn.

Oil and Gas UK attributed the change to cost-cutting and the rising oil price.

Operators can claim back tax paid to help with decommissioning costs, and that part of the sector is growing.

Tax receipts fell into the red for the first time in 2015-16 when a moderate loss of £2m was recorded.

The following year saw net losses plummet to £316m.

Mike Tholen, from Oil and Gas UK, said: "The oil price improvements in recent months will have helped but much of the tax improvements you have seen in 2017-18 were at much lower oil prices. So the improvements were coming despite the oil price changes and indeed the oil price will help.

"Funnily enough I think the industry likes to see us paying taxes because it shows that we are making profits, that we are an attractive place to invest and that signals that the industry is alive and well, despite the troubles of recent times."

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