Monument warns on oil tax policy

TONY CRAVEN WALKER, chairman of Monument Oil & Gas, warned yesterday that the company's plans to develop the Fyne oilfield in the North Sea are being delayed by uncertainty over the Government's policy on taxing North Sea oil revenues.

Reporting a 15 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to pounds 6.7m for the half year to 30 June, Mr Craven Walker (left) said this had been achieved against a corresponding 30 per cent fall in average oil prices. Monument shares were unchanged on the day at 43.5p in a falling market.

Monument said that the sudden fall in the crude oil price has tended to override investor sentiment in the sector and obscure the progress made by the company. Mr Craven Walker said that the economic background for oil and gas producers was particularly difficult.

In the past six months Monument has said that it has made a major new gas discovery in Pakistan, signed important new agreements in the Caspian region and restructured the group's finances.

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