Written by the leading expert in UK petroleum economics, this study provides a new, unique, in-depth analysis of the development of British policies towards the North Sea oil and gas industry from the early 1960s to the early 1980s.
Drawing on full access to the UK Government’s relevant archives, Alex Kemp examines the thinking behind the initial legislation in 1964, the early licensing arrangements and the events leading up to the boundary delimitation agreements with Norway and other adjacent North Sea countries. He explains the debate in the later 1960s about the appropriate role of the state in the exploitation of the gas and oil resources, the prolonged negotiations resulting in the early long-term gas contracts, and the continuing debate on the role of the state following the large oil discoveries in the first half of the 1970s resulting in the formation of BNOC (British National Oil Corporation). The debate leading up to the introduction of, and subsequent increase in, the Petroleum Revenue Tax is fully explained as is the introduction of Supplementary Petroleum Duty. The author also outlines the debates around interventionist depletion policies and on how the oil revenues should best be utilised.
The Official History of North Sea Oil and Gas will be of much interest to students of North Sea oil and gas, energy economics, business history, and British politics, as well as to petroleum professionals and policymakers.