UK Government makes a loss from North Sea taxes over last six months
The loss is the first which HM Revenue & Customs has recorded in decades.
New figures show the UK Government made a loss from North Sea taxes during the last six months, for the first time for decades.
Analysts say the figures highlight the impact of the dramatic downturn in the industry and suggest the "tax take" will continue to be low for several years to come.
The HMRC figures show that in the last six months the government collected £248m in revenue from oil and gas, but they paid out £287m in rebates.
HMRC says that falling oil prices, reduced production and increased spend on capital and decommissioning has meant some companies making significant losses which have been set against tax paid.
The Office of Budget Responsibility has downgraded its forecast for North Sea revenues for the next five years predicting some of the lowest figures since the industry's infancy.
Analsysts say although the whole year figures will see earnings from the North Sea back in the black, the six month deficit is a striking illustration of the impact of the downturn.
The Scottish Government say action taken by themselves and the industry is seeing costs reduced and production picking up.
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