* Tax hike will not affect DUC
* Aim is to bring taxes in line with DUC's levies
* To generate extra DKK27.5 bln crowns over time
COPENHAGEN, March 1 Denmark will increase taxes
on smaller offshore oil and gas producers, hoping to generate
extra revenue and bring taxation in line with the country's
biggest oil producer, the prime minister said on Friday.
Denmark, which produces around 200,000 barrels of oil per
day, hopes the measures will generate an extra 27.5 billion
crowns ($4.83 billion) of revenue over time with DONG Energy
and Hess footing much of the bill.
"From now on, Denmark will benefit from the work of all the
companies in the North Sea," Prime Minister Helle
Thorning-Schmidt told a news conference. "With the money, we
will finance infrastructure projects for all Danes."
Thorning-Schmidt, who presides over an unpopular centre-left
minority government, is struggling to revive growth and has been
criticised for stimulus measures that appeared to benefit
companies but not the people.
Earlier this week, she proposed a corporate tax cut, a move
that was criticised by Denmark's top eight trade unions.
Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), which accounts for
about 85 percent of the country's oil output, will not be
affected by the increase as a 2003 agreement over its taxation
remain intact, she said.
Major fields not operated by DUC include Siri, operated by
DONG, and South Arne, operated jointly by DONG and
Hess. Other operators working at smaller fields include
Wintershall, a unit of German chemicals firm BASF.
Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk
owns 31.2 percent of DUC. Royal Dutch Shell Group
has 36.8 percent, Chevron 12 percent and
Nordsofonden a 20 percent stake in the partnership.