UK considering tax breaks for shale gas drilling - Chancellor

08 October 2012 16:33  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The UK government is considering introducing a preferential tax regime for shale gas exploration to stimulate investment in the sector, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said on Monday.

Following the announcement of several sets of tax relief measures in recent months to encourage North Sea oil and gas extraction, the measures would be intended to encourage the development of the UK shale gas industry at a point when the sector is still at an extremely early stage, the Chancellor said.

“With the shale gas industry at an early stage of development, the government believes that a targeted tax regime will help unlock investment,” the UK Treasury said in a statement.

Shale gas extraction is currently suspended in the UK following fears that it may have been the cause of several small earthquakes in northwest England, but those restrictions may soon be lifted, according to Edward Davey, the UK’s secretary of state for energy and climate change.

Speaking at a gas conference in London today, Davey said that shale gas in the UK required a different approach to the US shale gas sector and that evidence is still being scrutinised, but that he ultimately hoped to lift the suspension.

“Industry analysts do see shale as a rather different proposition here than in the US ... [but] in the light of evidence of the best regulatory regime, I hope it will prove possible for me to give a green light to shale,” he said.

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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