Taxman told not to fiddle with oil taxes

North Sea oil companies fear the Inland Revenue will introduce an increase to the Petroleum Revenue Tax or issue a windfall levy because of public anger over high petrol prices and billion pound profits announced by oil giants such as BP.

The Revenue has yet to announce changes to oil tax rates, though it has admitted the implementation of a windfall tax has not been ruled out.

Pierre Jungels, chief executive at Enterprise, told The Guardian that operators already paid a rate of 50%, which was ‘high enough’.

Jungels was speaking after Enterprise released its 2001 interim results for the six months to 30 June 2001, which showed that the company’s effective tax rate for the year was 57%.

On turnover of £804m, the company paid taxes totalling £271m with £36m paid in UK petroleum revenue tax plus £26.9m in Norwegian petroleum tax. Despite this, the company still recorded improved profits of £204m.

Both BP and Shell announced annual profits in excess of £5bn angering fuel protestors and motorists. Oil protestors such as the ‘Dump the Pump’ campaign have called the profits ‘obscene’ and campaigned for a windfall tax on profits.


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