Eversheds comments on government’s aim to put UK at centre of global shale industry

Elizabeth Shepherd, head of environment, and Greg Hammond, head of international oil and gas at Eversheds, have commented following the UK chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Statement on further tax incentives for shale gas investments.

Shepherd said: ‘There is no doubt of the UK government’s intention to attract global shale gas operators with today’s announcement, which sends a further clear signal to the industry.

‘The UK is now set to have the most competitive rates in Europe — and even more competitive than the US, where unconventional gas has transformed the energy market.’

Discussing the impact on the UK shale industry, Hammond said that the announcement comes at a critical time for the UK shale industry, which has recently faced increasing costs and occasional resistance from environmental lobbyists.

He added: ‘This measure will provide another even clearer signal that the shale industry is a key part of the government’s overall energy strategy. It will also facilitate access to much-needed funding for UK shale developers, which are now approaching a critical and costly period of testing and development.

‘One can expect that any benefits flowing to UK-based shale developers and oil-field services companies from the announcement will in due course give them a head start when the shale industry on the continent reaches a similar stage in its evolution. All in all, it has been a good day for the UK onshore oil industry.’