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Osborne

Insights

Poll: More than 90% of voters believe Budget did not do enough to support North Sea industry

More than 90% of readers who took part in an exclusive Energy Voice poll believe Chancellor George Osborne still has more to do in supporting the North Sea oil and gas industry. When asked the question ‘Did the Chancellor do enough to support the North Sea this Budget’ only 6% of voters agreed he had. However 93% of participants echoed sentiment from the sector that the Chancellor could have gone further.

Markets

Budget 2015 live

The first all-Tory Budget in almost two decades is set to be divisive as further dramatic welfare curbs are included with Chancellor George Osborne promising to "secure Britain's future". The Budget is also set to take advantage of better-than-forecast tax revenue to declare that £12billion of welfare savings will be implemented more slowly than previously thought.

Oil & Gas

UK should embrace fracking, says Osborne

tain should embrace fracking or be condemned to higher energy bills and fewer jobs, George Osborne has said. The Chancellor also insisted he did not want to be part of a generation “that says all the economic activity was happening somewhere else in the world” as he reiterated his support for the extraction of underground shale gas.

Markets

North Sea oil industry looks to Osborne for help

The oil price slump has hit the UK’s energy industry harder than almost anywhere else. Already beset by sky-high costs, rapidly depleting fields and uncertainty about who pays to decommission old platforms, investment in the North Sea threatens to collapse as oil trades near $50 a barrel. The industry is expecting Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to help with tax cuts on Wednesday when he delivers the government’s last budget before May’s general election. The group that represents oil and gas companies wants the tax on profits cut and a simpler and more generous tax break for investment. “Tax changes are vital,” Malcolm Webb, chief executive officer of lobby group Oil & Gas UK, said in a statement on Monday. Action “is urgently needed in order to help re-establish the competitiveness of the UK oil and gas industry.”

Opinion

Opinion: Westminster parties rerunning of referendum makes them look fools!

I suppose given that I’ve written previously about so many similar instances I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I read that an organisation called “Social Investment Scotland” was doing a deal to help fund a developer of low carbon projects install an Australian-developed micro combined heat and power unit (MCHP) on initially seventy but potentially up to three hundred and fifty properties across Scotland with a view to helping residents reduce their fuel bills. The company producing the MCHP is Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd and according to their website they were spun out of the Australian Government's Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), their corporate head office and research and development facilities are in Melbourne and they have a fuel cell assembly plant in Heinsberg, Germany, and a ceramic powder plant in Bromborough in the UK. So perhaps not surprised but just downright gobsmacked that once again we have let an international competitor steal a march on us in an important area of technology. It’s perhaps even more frustrating because I know that at least two of our universities have specific recognised expertise in fuel cell technology. In fact, a few years ago one tried to commercialise a ceramic fuel cell but as is often the case in Scotland, couldn’t get together the funding.

Oil & Gas

MP in call for North Sea lifeline

The UK Government has been urged to provide more support to the North Sea oil and gas industry to address claims of a downturn in confidence and job losses. Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, has raised the issue with Chancellor George Osborne ahead of the autumn Budget statement on December 3. He told the Conservative MP that the industry was facing a difficult time, with many projects coming to the end of their labour-intensive phases.