Decommissioning the offshore platforms that have reached the end of their productive life will cost UK taxpayers some US$31.46 billion (24 billion pounds) over the next 45 years, a new report from the National Audit Office. The decommissioning costs for platform operators are rising, the report also noted, saying since 2014, the total annual spent on decommissioning has been about US$1.31 billion (1 billion pounds). This could be worrisome for the government budget because platform operators are entitled to tax relief that lowers their decommissioning costs. And that’s not all, the National Audit Office says in its report. “With decommissioning activity increasing, the government is paying out more in tax reliefs for decommissioning at the same time as tax revenues have fallen due to a combination of lower production rates, a reduction in oil and gas prices and operators incurring high tax-deductible expenditure,” its authors say. The UK’s continental […]