Oil industry welcomes tax changes
THE oil industry has welcomed changes to the tax regime on oil and gas exploration – even though they will have to hand more money over to the State.
Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte announced higher taxes on oil and gas finds around Ireland – including a minimum 5pc a year royalty and a total tax take of 55pc on the most profitable fields, up from 40pc at present.
The move is aimed at increasing the Government's share of the profits on oil and gas without deterring companies from future exploration. It will apply to future licence holders for exploration, with existing licence holders not affected.
The Irish Offshore Operators' Association, which represents oil and gas companies, gave a "cautious welcome" to the changes: "Exploration is an uncertain business both from the fiscal and the geological perspective, so at least this gives us fiscal certainty for the future," said its chairman, Professor Pat Shannon.