Chevron criticises North Sea oil tax rise - FT

LONDON, April 18 Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:46am IST

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LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - The head of U.S. energy major Chevron on Monday criticised Britain's tax increase on North Sea oil and gas production, saying the decision could have "unintended consequences."

"When you increase taxes every few years, particularly without consulting with industry, there will be unintended consequences of that in terms of where we choose to invest," chairman and chief executive John Watson said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Britain last month announced a surprise tax increase on oil and gas production in the North Sea, raising the tax to 32 percent from 20 percent. [ID:nLDE72M1PB]

The government has defended its decision, saying it expects higher oil prices to help the investment outlook.

Watson said the move was "very disappointing" and made Britain "one of the more unstable investment climates for our business."

"My biggest concern is not just the level of tax, it's the stability and the predictability of the tax." (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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