Australia says huge oil did not pay billions in taxes
Oil and gas firms operating in Australia are near to come under fire from the government, because the Treasury launches an investigation into taxes paid by the industry and seeks to create up for lost ground in what it deems were unpaid taxes by major oil and gas operator.
According to treasurer Scott Morrison, revenues from the petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) have halved since 2013, reaching around US$600 million (A$800 million), which excise revenues have additionally fallen drastically.
Earlier this week, a report by the country’s Auditor-General discovered that the operators of only 1 oil and gas project – the largest one, admittedly – had seen their way out of paying around US$3.7 billion (A$5 billion) in taxes by using various deductions, a number of them ineligible. The operators in question include Chevron, Shell, BP, and Australia’s biggest independent oil and gas company, Woodside, along with BHP Billiton.
Woodside said that it was willing to completely cooperate with the authorities in their inquiry, with Reuters quoting the company as saying that “The oil and gas business is below significant financial pressure from low commodity costs, thus stability in tax arrangements is essential for our shareholders to support investment in unsure business environments.”
This echoes Morrison’s words that the investigation aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Australian oil and gas taxation system, instead of simply collecting back-dated dues.
Australia’s oil and gas industry is price some US$150 billion (A$200 billion), and includes huge projects like the Chevron, BP, Shell, and Woodside-operated North West Shelf project, yet as Chevron’s gorgon and wheatstone LNG projects. BP last month announced it absolutely was exiting the nice Australian Bight wherever it explored for oil, however faced plenty of opposition and close scrutiny from environmental regulators.
Just like all over else, the oil and gas industry of Australia has suffered its fair share of lower revenues due to the oil worth crash and also the government investigation into taxes might add another woe to the troubled businesses if it leads to a reform in however royalties are being collected.