UK Clamp Down on North Sea Drilling Tax Holiday

Posted by George Backwell
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
File image

A planned change in the way Britain taxes North Sea drillers exposes the loophole in a system that allowed an industry with annual revenues of 2 billion pounds to pay almost no corporation tax for two decades, prompting accusations that the UK tax authority is falling down on the job.

The change, announced by Finance Minister George Osborne in March, caps the amount a UK company can deduct from profit for leasing drilling rigs from an overseas unit in the same group. The rig-leasing units are typically based in countries where their income is taxed lightly or not at all.

A Reuters review of company accounts, shipping registers and other company statements, shows that such inter-company transactions - known as transfer pricing - have enabled drilling groups in the North Sea to operate almost tax free for 20 years or more, perfectly legally, and with the agreement of Britain's tax authority, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Companies that have benefited from the current rules include Ensco Plc, Rowan Companies Plc and Transocean Ltd, which collectively accounted for over 60 percent of the UK market in 2012.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by any of these companies, which declined to comment.

Osborne's change, which will limit the amount companies can deduct from profit for such lease payments to 7.5 percent of the historical cost of the rig, will replace generous deductions calculated on the market value of rigs, which has been soaring.

The amount of money the government expects the tax change to raise is equivalent to around 5 percent of total rig market revenues, which would have raised an additional $600 million from Transocean, Ensco and Rowan alone over the last 10 years. ($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds)

(By Tom Bergin)

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

SENER Presents Two FORAN Papers at the Morintekh

In June, the SENER engineering and technology group participated in the 17th Morintekh – Praktik 2016 Scientific Conference, in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Finance

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Fall 8.1 pct

Freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 8.1 percent to $713 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

Unipec: U.S. ANS Destined for Sinopec

Arbitrage opens after ANS discount widen on ample supplies. Unipec, the trading arm of top Asian refiner Sinopec, has bought two U.S. crude cargoes, including

G6 Updates Asia-North America West Coast Service

Two services will be merged into one until further notice / Reason is change in market demand / All other services remain unchanged. Members of the G6 Alliance

Government Update

Kerry to Press ASEAN meeting for talks on SCS Disputes

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will urge Southeast Asian nations in meetings in Laos next week to find diplomatic ways to launch talks with China on easing

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

Offshore Energy

Ithaca’s FPF-1 platform to be moved to Stella field

Ithaca Energy Inc. reports that the "FPF-1" floating production facility has completed the required inclination test as planned and departed the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

Boskalis Awarded Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Contract

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded the Offshore Balance of Plant contract by Vattenfall for the construction of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm,

Drydocks World Conforms to FPC under EU Regulation

Drydocks World, the international service provider to the shipping, offshore, oil, gas and energy sectors has successfully been certified to European Standards EN 1090 – 1 and EN 1090-2.

Underwater Engineering

Pathogenic bacteria hitchhiking to North and Baltic Seas?

For the first time, AWI scientists have found evidence of living, potentially pathogenic vibrions on microplastic particles. With increasing water temperatures

Ithaca’s FPF-1 platform to be moved to Stella field

Ithaca Energy Inc. reports that the "FPF-1" floating production facility has completed the required inclination test as planned and departed the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

Great Lakes Dredging Awards Announced

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation announced that it was recently awarded four contracts with an approximate value of $93 million. Great Lakes received two

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1177 sec (8 req/sec)