(Adds deal, details)
By Teis Jensen
COPENHAGEN, March 22 Shipping and oil company A.
P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reached an agreement
with the Danish state that means it will pay less tax on its
North Sea oil and gas activities through 2025.
The deal, which has been under negotiation for months, makes
it viable to redevelop the Tyra field through which 90 percent
of Denmark's gas production is processed, and it is seen as
crucial for the Danish company that is seeking to spin off its
energy assets via a listing or merger.
Maersk and its partners in the Danish Underground Consortium
(DUC) -- Shell, Chevron and state-owned
Nordsofonden -- with whom it owns Tyra, will decide on the
redevelopment of the field by the end of the year, Maersk said.
"We will now issue tenders and progress engineering work
towards detailed plans in preparation of a final investment
decision by end 2017," Maersk Oil's Chief Operating Officer,
Martin Rune Pedersen said in a statement.
"Pending a final investment decision, production from Tyra
is now expected to shut in December 2019 and restart in March
2022," Maersk Oil said.
The deal means the tax allowance on oil and gas production
will be increased gradually over the next six years to 6.5
percent from 5 percent now, the finance ministry said.
The tax allowance will be withdrawn if the oil price rises
to above $75 per barrel, the ministry said.
Tyra's platforms have sunk 5 metres since production began
30 years ago but Maersk has earlier said it would not be viable
to redevelop it given the conditions offered by Denmark.
The deal will support investments of more than 10 billion
Danish crowns ($1.5 billion) in oil and gas production in the
North Sea, and could increase tax revenues by 26 billion crowns
through 2042, the finance ministry said.
($1 = 6.8880 Danish crowns)
(Additional reporting by Erik Matzen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard,
editing by David Evans)