Thursday, May 5, 2011

British Gas warns of price explosion

Source: Press TV

British families could face fresh energy difficulties, after the UK's largest supplier warned that it may shut a major gas field over a tax dispute with the government.

The warning by Centrica, which owns British Gas, is followed by the government's plans to increase taxes on oil and gas.

Centrica warned that it would not resume operation at one of three fields in Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, which it closed down for maintenance work.

The company said one of the fields may remain closed after supplementary energy tax rose from 20 to 32 per cent in the Budget. The field concerned is taxed at 81 percent of profits.

Instead, the company said, it would import gas when needed, putting it at the mercy of market prices. It warned that UK oil and gas producers face some of the highest taxes in the world, making profits marginal.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said that because of the “tax raid”, Britain risked “losing jobs, investment and secure energy supplies”.

The warning came as industry body Oil & Gas UK said North Sea oil platforms could be taken out of service prematurely as companies lose tax relief

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