By Tom Morris

North Sea oil production has plunged at its fastest pace in a decade as fears grow over a potential Labour government and Rishi Sunak’s windfall tax deters investment.

Crude oil output slumped by 13% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2022, a report by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) found.

The decline meant oil production fell to a record low of 16.2m tonnes, roughly a quarter of what the UK produced at its peak in 1999.

OEUK, which represents 400 oil, gas and wind operators and contractors, said it is the biggest decline since the same period in 2013, when output fell by 13.7%.

Ross Dornan, an author of the OEUK’s annual economic report, said the Government’s windfall tax and the threat of a Labour victory at the next election had seriously destabilised the industry.

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to ban all new oil and gas licences under a Labour government as part of his plans to make Britain a “clean energy superpower”.

David Whitehouse, chief executive of OEUK, said: “People want to see consistency of policy, but it’s clear there is political uncertainty with a general election next year. That is causing uncertainty with investors and that is part of the reason why we are not seeing much investment being unlocked.”

This will lead to higher taxes for the people. The North Sea is wild and very risky to extract Hydrocarbons, so why would you invest when you are taxed at 75%? Unfortunately our politicians think we owe the whole world a living and that we must be world leaders in Net Zero! This can only lead to peasantry.

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