Oil and gas industry fighting for survival, MP warns

PUBLISHED: 07:58 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:51 20 January 2016

A gas rig on the east coast near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Picture: Steve Parsons Copy: 
For : EDP File
EDP pics © 2003 Tel: (01603) 772434

A gas rig on the east coast near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk Picture: Steve Parsons Copy: For : EDP File EDP pics © 2003 Tel: (01603) 772434

The oil and gas industry is fighting for its very existence on the UK continental shelf with thousands of livelihoods on the line, Waveney MP Peter Aldous has warned making a radical plea for tax cuts.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
February 2014.

Picture: James BassWaveney MP Peter Aldous. February 2014. Picture: James Bass

The chairman of the all-party group on offshore oil and gas in Westminster told MPs the supplementary charge and the petroleum revenue tax should be reduced further or abolished, with more funding for seismic surveys provided.

Last year’s budget saw the petroleum revenue tax (PRT) cut from 50pc to 35pc to support continued production in older fields, with the existing supplementary charge for oil companies also be cut from 30pc to 20pc.

The MP, whose constituency includes the major energy port of Lowestoft, described to MPs how some 75,000 jobs had gone in the past 15 months as a result of the dramatic collapse in oil prices.

He said energy security was a number one priority and maximising the production of oil and gas at home would reduce the dependence on imports. He said that there were known reserves of 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to be recovered from our offshore waters, and gas had a key role to play.

He called for the budget measures to be looked closely at again and for work to be started on regional plans, including in the southern North Sea.

“Although the North Sea is a mature basin in many respects, we are embarking on a final chapter of oil and gas recovery there, which is, in many ways, a new venture, built on a cornerstone of co-operation, collaboration and consolidation,” he added. “In the past, innovating, investing in technology and reducing costs have been done by the big oil 
companies. I suggest that we look 
at what has happened with the catapult industry of offshore wind, in which the government has led the way.”

He urged the government to “get on with it”, telling MPs: “Time is of the essence.”

Do you have a story about the energy industry? Email business editor

Comment – Page 30


  • In other news, Wonga are fighting for survival and may have to increase their interest rates to 5000% in order to make ends meet

    Report this comment


    Friday, January 22, 2016

  • one simple answer NO oil and gas companies have had it too good for decades now . the,'ve conned us for years you reap what you sow

    Report this comment


    Friday, January 22, 2016

  • Go and ask him, it is an assumption on my part, just can't do with these back bench crocodile tears.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, January 22, 2016

  • Has Peter Aldous got an oil portfolio?

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 21, 2016

  • Maybe our MP's should go and talk to the over producers in OPEC, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, rather than come running to the local paper. Our chancellor is still raking in the highest taxes anywhere i9n the EU on petrol and gas from us small consumers. Industry always had more beneficial pricing, so don 't believe the crocodile tears from bus operators and other large concerns. The demise of the oil industry is the realisation that we are already well into the fourth industrial revolution. Now is the time, far too late imho., to go full speed in to alternative energy generation, to become less dependent on fossil fuels. Such move would bring jobs and expertise in tidal energies, sea current generators and much more, making the subsidy to French and Chinese nuclear operators questionable if not unnecessary. Welcome to the new world Mr. Aldous, time to sell your oil portfolio for what you can get and invest it in alternative energy generation.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

  • Oil and Gas is just like any other commodity and is only worth current market value in a complex and ever changing international futures trading scenario . It has been traded at artificially high levels for many years in a market that has been manipulated and controlled by certain parties. It was inevitable that a price crash would occur at some point as factors such as world demand slumped in conjunction with huge global overproduction and changes in processes eg the significant rise in relatively cheap shale gas production . North Sea oil and gas is in comparison hugely expensive to locate, extract and pipe ashore. Profitable and feasible at over 100 dollars a barrel, no chance at market prices below 30 dollars a barrel. Highly unlikely that we will see market prices rise in the short to medium term . Best opportunities for Yarmouth and Lowestoft probably lie in terms of the lucrative decommissioning of old rigs and equipment subject to suitable port space, quay headings, infrastructure etc. Yarmouth might be ok, but looks like Lowestoft are planning to build housing developments adjacent to the inner port areas which could rule out decommissioning.

    Report this comment

    Grey Fox

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • since 2008 this has been the real world for most of us .The oil and gas industry has just entered the real world . Good luck?

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Peter Aldous is speaking a lot of sense. Our government wants too much for licenses and too much tax. Oil and gas companies need incentive to recover the remaining reservoirs.

    Report this comment

    Mike Smith

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • The O&G industry doesn't need tax cuts it just needs to return to the taxation +opportunities that were set up by Tony Benn in the 70's. These have stood the test of time in Norway & seen that country go from a country of fisherment to one of the richest countries in the world. Norway is still, despite a drop in O&G prices still moving forward, we should have stayed the course instead of giving i away as we did in the 80's to fund unemployment and a stupid social experiment

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • The oil industry has had things there own way for far to long what other industry gets help like this one. Great yarmouth has had it good for a long time and now the good times are over service companys in this sector charge far to much for there work. The oil industry in yarmouth is turning into a white elephant right before are very eyes.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

47 minutes ago

Jobs are at risk at a shoe retailer with stores and concessions in Norwich, Thetford, Lowestoft and Wisbech after tough trading conditions forced it to enter administration.

53 minutes ago

Events are being planned at Somerleyton Hall to raise funds for the British Red Cross.


Suffolk care providers have warned they can no longer offer safe services to the county’s most vulnerable at the “inadequate” prices council bosses are prepared to pay.

The police officer who died was named by Scotland Yard as Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old husband and father.

Most Read

Yesterday, 13:46

A Lowestoft couple who set up a cannabis factory in their bungalow have been given prison sentences totalling 50 months.

Read more
Ipswich Crown Court
Yesterday, 12:23

Officers pulled over the white van whilst they were on a night patrol in the South Norfolk town.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:04

From next month speeding fines are set to dramatically rise in an attempt to deter drivers from breaking speed limits.

Read more
United Kingdom
Yesterday, 15:14

A new café that provides supported work experience, training and volunteering opportunities for people with learning disabilities will officially open its doors this week.

Read more
Peter Aldous
Yesterday, 10:00

Pop band Little Mix will be heading to Norwich this September to perform a gig in Earlham Park.

Read more
United Kingdom

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter