Written by the leading expert in the history of UK energy, this study provides new, in-depth analysis of the development of UK petroleum policies towards the North Sea oil and gas industry from the early 1960s to the early 1980s.
Following on from volume I (The Growing Dominance of the State) to discuss the more recent history of the North Sea oil and gas industry, here Alex Kemp offers new insights into developments in the industry. The controversial decisions to raise gas prices to consumers and to introduce the Gas Levy are discussed, while the thinking behind the gradual reduction in taxation - including the abolition of SPD (Supplementary Petroleum Duty) and the removal of royalties on new developments - is fully explained. The various options considered to reduce the powers of BNOC (British National Oil Corporation), then privatise its upstream assets, and finally to abolish the state company altogether are fully discussed, as is the thinking leading up to the privatisation of the British Gas Corporation in 1986. This volume also sheds light on the development of policies onshore, particularly the role of the OSO (Offshore Supplies Office), and the response of British industry to the North Sea opportunity. Finally, the evolution of policies relating to health, safety, decommissioning, and the environment over the whole period of the study are examined.
The Official History of North Sea Oil and Gas will be of interest to students of North Sea oil and gas, energy economics, business history, and British politics, as well as to petroleum professionals and policymakers.
'A voluminous and impressive piece of work, and it is based on a unique pool of archival material. Policy makers and government officials can clearly learn important lessons from the fascinating history of North Sea oil and gas.' - René Taudal Poulsen, International Journal of Maritime History, Volume 24, 1, June 2012
1. Natural Gas in the New market Environment 2. Oil Policies in the New Market Environment 3. Taxation for Changing Market Conditions 4. Licensing in Changing Market Conditions 5. The Demise of State Intervention 6. Further Taxation Developments 7. The Onshore Impact and Policies 8. Licensing and Related Issues into the 1990s 9. Health and Safety 10. Decommissioning and Environment 11. Concluding Reflections
The Government Official History series began in 1919 with wartime histories, and the peacetime series was inaugurated in 1966 by Harold Wilson. The aim of the series is to produce major histories in their own right, compiled by historians eminent in the field, who are afforded free access to all relevant material in the official archives. The Histories also provide a trusted secondary source for other historians and researchers while the official records are not in the public domain. The main criteria for selection of topics are that the histories should record important episodes or themes of British history while the official records can still be supplemented by the recollections of key players; and that they should be of general interest, and, preferably, involve the records of more than one government department.