Environment The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

BP puts tax hike aside to invest £3bn in North Sea

BP is spending £3bn to redevelop two North Sea oilfields, despite tax increases outlined in the Budget.

Tax tweak to encourage North Sea oil investment

The government has tweaked the tax rules for North Sea oil and gas production after the protests that greeted the tax increases outlined in the Budget.

This coast's so wild they build lighthouses on wheels

The North Sea Trail aims, one day, to link 7,000 miles of paths across the northern edges of Europe. Mark Rowe reports from Denmark

Sperm whale dies on beach 'after getting lost'

A 44ft (13.4m) sperm whale which became beached probably died because it got lost, a marine expert involved in the rescue bid said yesterday.

North Sea production slumps after Budget tax hike

North Sea oil production has slowed to its lowest level since records began 15 years ago following the Chancellor's recent tax raid on the industry.

EnCore calls off XEO flotation

EnCore Oil has cancelled the flotation of its new company, citing difficult market conditions due to Britain's recent decision to raise taxes for North Sea-focused oil and gas explorers. EnCore, which had earlier planned to float XEO Exploration, said the market's appetite for the UK North Sea had diminished ever since the tax raise was announced.

Outputs are up, but still fail to match expectations

Fears that the manufacturing revival is losing pace were confirmed in the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. The ONS said that manufacturing output rose by 0.2 per cent, better than the zero recorded in February but well below the usual monthly boost over the past year or so. A boost in North Sea gas volumes helped push overall industrial production up by 0.6 per cent over February, also below market expectations.

David Prosser: The wind will blow and we shall have jobs

Outlook Lord make me chaste – but not yet. The Committee on Climate Change's report on Monday had an Augustine ring to it, suggesting that while offshore wind has a big role to play eventually in helping Britain meet its renewable energy commitments, the cost of the technology means relying on it for the 2020 round of targets might not be such a good idea.

Soaring tax bill leads Centrica to cut back on UK investment

Centrica warned yesterday that the Government's surprise extra tax on North Sea oil and gas would hit profit growth this year and cause the company to scale back investment.

North Sea firms hit out at 'very, very damaging' tax

The Chancellor's decision to raise the tax charge on North Sea oil firms in his Budget in March came as a "huge shock" to the industry, a Parliamentary committee heard yesterday.

Fears for North Sea oil and gas after UK tax hit

Officials representing the UK's oil and gas industry will this week attempt to persuade the biggest multinationals against pulling investments from the North Sea in the wake of the Government's recent tax rise.

Sunny Easter expected across the UK

The ghost of summer future seems to be haunting our spring.

Crew rescued from swamped North Sea rig

Nineteen crew members were evacuated from a mobile rig in the North Sea today after becoming swamped by the rising tide, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

David Prosser: Gesture politics that cost £2bn

Outlook So that went well. The RAC reports that, on average, petrol now costs 2p a litre more than it did before the Budget a fortnight ago, when George Osborne produced his 1p cut in duty with such a flourish. We might give the Chancellor some credit – without the 1p reduction petrol would, of course, be 3p a litre more expensive – but not much: this was a piece of political grandstanding that proved to be an empty gesture in the context of pressures from the oil market.

BP to kick off auction of £400m stake in Wytch Farm oil field

BP will kick-off the auction of its £400m controlling stake in Wytch Farm in Dorset, western Europe's biggest onshore oil field, in the next two weeks.

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