North Sea oil: devastating new report

The UK’s North Sea oil tax regime spearheaded a wave of privatisation across Britain and the rest of the world, argues Juan Carlos Boué in a new report published today (13 February 2020) by Scot.E3. The report is available for download from the Scot.E3 website.

Juan Carlos Boué, a counsel at an international law-firm who has spent his professional life in the oil and gas sector, explains in a new report how the UK government’s approach to North Sea oil helped ‘redefine the economic frontiers of the State’, first in the UK and then across the world. Both Labour and Conservative governments since the 1970s put in place a tax regime where, ‘under no conceivable circumstance… would the taxation of excess profits be allowed to bite into the returns due to oil capital’.

The report, which is edited by Mika Minio-Paluello of Transition Economics, is published by Scot.E3, a campaign of rank and file trade unionists in Scotland fighting for a just transition (Employment, Energy and Environment).

The report is supported by PCS, the civil service trade union, and Platform London, the campaigning non-governmental organisation. As John Maloney of the PCS writes, we need to be able to ‘finance our way out of fossil fuels into a fully decarbonised economy, based on a just and transformational transition for workers and communities’. This means a model as far removed as can be imagined from the one Boué analyses here. It means: ‘public ownership and democratic control of our entire energy system – energy democracy’.

But, as Anna Markova from Platform comments, ‘Any serious attempt to build energy democracy in the UK must confront the myths we are told about the North Sea.’ That’s why this pamphlet is so important:

At a time of climate transition and building new clean energy systems, we must understand what went wrong in the North Sea and why we failed to achieve social benefit from a public resource.

Please download and share the report.

Join the climate strikes tomorrow (Friday 14 November)!

The UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) has produced his Guide for Adult Allies that has some actions:

Check where your nearest strike is ( and share the event across relevant networks/pages as well as inviting friends.

Finally, please share and use the union motion on climate strikes rs21 has made:



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here