North Sea Drilling Applications Reach High

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Stv is reporting that the number of applications for companies applying to drill for oil in the north sea is at a 30 year high. Government ministers say fields are clearly not in their twilight years and so far it seems that oil companies have not been put off by recent tax rises. The north sea rigs and platforms are supplied by vessels which leave from Aberdeen's harbour, so this boom certainly seems to be good news for the industry and the local economy. The government licence companies to explore and drill certain blocks in the sea and applications for those licences are at a 30 year high - 147 applications from 121 companies. Technology developed in Aberdeen has developed innovative new ways of extracting oil and the energy minister has praised local firms and staff. The energy minister also said the north sea fields are clearly not in their twilight years. There had been concerns from the industry about the future because of recent tax increases from Chancellor Gordon Brown - the corporation tax rate on oil and gas was doubled to 20%. The Department of Trade and Industry say despite the windfall tax there is clearly still interest in the industry, but political opponents say it is hardly surprising considering oil is selling at the high price of $70 a barrel. Source: STV

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