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How will the decommissioning costs of oil and gas platforms and other infrastructure in the North Sea be met in an independent Scotland?

Providing a stable environment for companies to plan decommissioning is critical to delivering a dynamic and forwardlooking offshore oil and gas industry. At present, North Sea operators are able to claim tax relief against the cost of decommissioning offshore facilities at the point when the decommissioning occurs.

The Scottish Government plans that decommissioning tax relief in an independent Scotland will be provided in the manner and at the rate currently provided through the current North Sea fiscal regime. This will provide long-term certainty for the industry.

Successive Westminster governments have accrued £300 billion in tax receipts (in today’s prices) from North Sea oil and gas production. This Scottish Government intends that an independent Scotland will seek a commensurate contribution to the cost of decommissioning relief from the rest of the UK. This will be the subject of negotiation between the two governments, but the outcome of the negotiations will have no impact on the value of relief received by operators.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.