North Sea oil revenues slashed by 75%
Production levels show signs of improvement but the fall in the price of oil has decimated revenues
Oil revenues in the North Sea have dropped by a staggering 75% in the first three months of 2015, according to a leading British MP.
The BBC reported that the Scottish government's quarterly national accounts show a dramatic fall in tax receipts between January and March.
UK oil revenues from the North Sea stood at $263mn (£168mn) for the first quarter of 2015, down from $1.16bn (£742mn) for the last quarter of 2014.
The industry has suffered from the collapse of global oil prices, which have tumbled sharply since June last year.
Despite the steep fall in revenue, production levels in the North Sea are increasing, according to Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney: "Our oil and gas bulletin, published in June, confirmed that Scotland remains, by some margin, the biggest oil producer in the entire European Union.
"Recent provisional figures from DECC suggest that May saw the most oil and gas produced in the North Sea since March 2012. If this trend is sustained production could increase this year for the first time in 15 years.