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Shell scared away by British tax?

April 29, 2011

LONDON, April 29 (UPI) — Royal Dutch Shell suggested it might pull out of developments in the North Sea because of a tax increase imposed by the British government, a director said.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne imposed a duty on oil and gas producers in an effort to take advantage of massive oil profits reported by international energy companies.

Oil and gas developers posted record first quarter profits as energy prices soar in response to global economic recovery, a weak U.S. dollar and unrest in some of the Middle East’s largest oil-producing nations.

Simon Henry, financial director at Shell, was quoted by London’s Daily Telegraph as saying Osborne’s tax would have “significant impact” on the company’s plans. He added that his company might not move forward with North Sea development because of the tax.

Shell posted $6.9 billion profit for the first quarter of 2010 though production was down modestly compared with the same period last year.

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