New UK oil and gas regulator to be based in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Scotland, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:55am EDT

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ABERDEEN, Scotland, June 12 (Reuters) - Britain's new oil and gas regulator will be based in Aberdeen, traditional heart of Britain's oil and gas industry, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told an industry conference in the Scottish city on Thursday.

The Oil & Gas Authority is being set up after recommendations by Sir Ian Wood as part of a strategic review published earlier this year, which identified the need for an agency with greater powers to foster collaboration and maximise recovery of oil and gas from the UK North Sea.

Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland, speaking at the same conference on Wednesday, also pledged to locate the regulator in Aberdeen and Alexander's announcement would be in line with government attempts to show commitment to Scotland ahead of a referendum on leaving the United Kingdom.

Alexander said recruitment of the chief executive for the regulator will get underway shortly, with a job advertisement to be placed on the UK government's website on June 19.

He also said he thought the North Sea would need to face a lighter tax burden than it does now, so it can "continue to attract investment to extract full economic value in the face of increasing costs". (Editing by David Holmes)

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