Oil & Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb:

"Oil & Gas UK is greatly encouraged by the package of tax measures announced by the Chancellor, which together will result in tens of billions of pounds of additional investment to develop the UK’s economically important oil and gas reserves, all at no net cost to the Exchequer.

"The introduction of legislation to enable the government to give the industry certainty on tax relief on decommissioning costs is a very significant step forward. The measure should delay decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure, give rise, over time, to up to £40bn of extra investment and result in the recovery of an additional 1.7 billion barrels of oil and gas."

Deloitte head of tax Derek Henderson:

"Following 12 months of intense discussions on the constraint uncertainty around decommissioning relief has on activity and investment, the Chancellor announced today enabling legislation will be put in place to allow UK North Sea companies to enter into contracts with the government, which should guarantee the future tax relief on decommissioning costs.

"This will remove a major fiscal risk for UK North Sea investors and may release significant funds for investment by allowing companies to move to post-tax decommissioning guarantees. This will also free up capital available for investment and development of opportunities in the North Sea."

A.T. Kearney partner Richard Forrest:

"The budget and its implications for North Sea oil production is a positive move and, in our opinion, very well-targeted, particularly following previous negative tax changes to these oil reserves.

"Encouraging investment in the North Sea via tax changes, specifically for the more technical deeper water fields, is a good move and will entice oil and gas players who have investment options in many basins around the world. Moreover, securing future investment to maintain North Sea production will have a positive impact on the long-term prospect for the oil and gas service sector in Scotland."

Northland Capital Partners analyst Andrew McGeary:

"This year’s budget was more favourable for North Sea development than its predecessor. While the surprise windfall tax rise of last year has limited impact on small cap E&P given the smaller fields allowance, it brought many larger projects under review.

"This move by the Chancellor should restore greater certainty in the investment climate, meaning consolidation is likely to remain a key factor. This is of course largely predicated on continued strength in oil prices."

Energy Networks Association chief executive David Smith:

"We are very encouraged by the Chancellor’s positive words about the future role for gas today.

"This builds on the statement made by the Energy & Climate Change Secretary on Monday. Clearly the message in our Redpoint report published more than a year ago, which found that retaining gas within the energy mix out to 2050 could save up to £700bn, has been heeded."