Unite press release

For immediate release: Thursday 4 May 2023

Shell joins BP in continuing the profiteering bonanza - £7.7bn profits in first quarter

BP and Shell profits together make first quarter bonanza touching £11.7 billionIn reaction to two of the ‘Masters of Big Oil’ continuing to gather in obscene profits and paying little or no windfall taxes, Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary said: “The scale of profiteering displayed today by Shell and earlier this week BP is one of the corporate scandals of our times. And this is practically untouched by Rishi Sunak’s so-called windfall tax.

“Actually it’s time to consider something way beyond a windfall tax. Unite research has found that if the UK had a Norwegian tax take we would be earning at least £30 billion more from the North Sea than we are now (see notes).

“Not taking any action against “Big Oil” means the profiteering plundering will continue without end.”

Editorial Notes

During the period from 1990 to 2017 Norway’s effective tax rate (“ETR”) for North Sea petroleum production was 46% versus 18% in the UK.
A forthcoming Unite Investigates report will show: If UK taxation was changed to align with that of the North Sea operations within Norway’s economic zone, then the tax take would increase by £30.7 billion in the medium scenario and £96 billion in the high price scenario in the period to 2050. The respective figures for the period to 2036 are £26.9 billion and £72.1 billion.


For more information please contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham