CNR curtails UK investments

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada -- Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) says it will start decommissioning the Murchison platform in the UK North Sea.

It took this decision in response to the UK government's recent tax increases on offshore production, which CNR says will lead to a 24% fall in North Sea post-tax profits for UK E&P companies.

CNR has cancelled planned drilling activity at Murchison this year, and also plans to contract a subsea vessel. It will now only maintain one drilling string in the North Sea, down from the two originally planned.

However, it will continue to high grade all North Sea prospects for potential future development opportunities.

CNR says it was surprised and disappointed by the actions of the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer in his annual budget in March. It said: “We believe this action is short-sighted and will result in reduced investment and job losses in the North Sea and a deterioration of the North Sea crude oil and natural gas reserve life index. This represents the third increase in the taxation of crude oil and natural gas profits in the United Kingdom since 2002.”


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