Six of the thirty largest companies in the world are built around fossil fuels – oil and gas is big business. Since the 1960s, “more than 44 billion barrels of oil equivalent … [has] been recovered from the UK Continental Shelf”. The best guess of the Oil and Gas Authority is that as much as 20 billion may still be available. This policy is a promise to support further investment in the sector.
The role of government in supporting investment is to create a favourable environment for investors. It does this through tax reliefs and incentives, as well as more general stewardship of the economy.
Under this government, secondary legislation has been passed to extend tax relief to new types of income in the sector.
Balanced against those developments, the Financial Times has pointed to a dramatic fall in investment in the industry, from almost 9% of total UK business investment in 2013, to just under 0.9% in 2018.
More broadly, many observers view the government’s failure to secure an orderly exit from the European Union as a hindrance to business investment.
Investment levels and sector growth are both fluctuating. In some respects, the government does appear to be supporting investment. However, given the uncertainty caused by confusion over Brexit and its likely impact on inward investment, we’re marking this as ‘in progress’. We’ll be looking for a Brexit outcome which reassures investors that UK gas and oil remains a safe bet. Follow this policy to see how things develop.
Support your argument – get the details
- UK Oil and Gas Reserves and Resources – Oil and Gas Authority
- UK investment policy – House of Commons International Trade Committee – Parliament.uk
- The Investment Allowance and Cluster Area Allowance (Relevant Income: Tariff Receipts) Regulations 2019 – Gov.uk
- Shale Environmental Regulator Group (SERG) – Gov.uk
- Planning Policy:Written statement – HCWS689 – Parliament.uk
- Shale exploration – Support for mineral planning authorities – Gov.uk
- Brexit, investment and the oil & gas industry – Financial Times
- Mining and Quarrying (period on period growth) %:CVM – Office for National Statistics
- Brexit uncertainty ‘hitting UK business investment’ – BBC News