Apr 5, 2022

Shell reveals another tax-free year in UK North Sea

Shell paid no tax on its oil and gas production in the UK's North Sea again last year even as a global energy crunch pushed prices for the fuels to record levels. Tax refunds related to the decommissioning of old oil platforms meant that rather than paying tax on its upstream operations, Europe's biggest oil company received $121mn from the UK treasury in 2021, according to details of its global payments to governments released by Shell on Tuesday. The annual reports, which Shell is required to publish under UK law, show it was the fourth year in a row that Shell paid no UK tax on its North Sea oil and gas production. Many oil and gas companies reported bumper profits last year as gas prices reached record levels and oil hit a seven-year high, but chancellor Rishi Sunak last month resisted calls for a windfall tax as the UK called on companies to increase investment. Shell says the UK government has received more than £20bn in tax revenues from the field since it started producing in 1976 and that the total refunds it receives from the decommissioning process will be "Significantly less than the tax payments made".

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