Equinor has paused the sale of a stake in the Rosebank oil development amidst fiscal uncertainties preceding the British election, reported Reuters, citing sources.  

The Norwegian energy company’s decision comes as the UK prepares for a snap election on 4 July. The Labour Party, which is said to be leading in the polls, has proposed higher taxation on oil and gas producers. 

In November last year, reports emerged that Equinor, the operator of Rosebank in the UK North Sea, is considering selling a 20% stake in the project.   

The sale was halted due to concerns over the future tax environment in the oil basin, according to two sources familiar with the matter.  

An Equinor spokesperson declined to comment on the suspension of the sale.  

The Rosebank project, which aims to exploit one of the last significant oil reservoirs in the area, has been at the centre of environmental debates, with activists urging a stop to new fossil fuel production. 

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The Labour Party’s manifesto, which includes a halt on new exploration licences and a three percentage point increase in the windfall tax imposed on oil and gas companies, could raise the total tax burden to 75%.  

This would be one of the highest rates globally, affecting the profitability and investment attractiveness of such projects. 

“We will need a lot of clarity from the new government before the process can launch again,” stated one of the sources.  

Equinor holds an 80% stake in Rosebank, with Ithaca Energy owning the remaining 20% stake.  

The UK Government approved the development of Rosebank in September last year. 

Separately, Mint, citing sources, reported that India is in talks with Equinor regarding participation in India’s strategic petroleum reserves and potential long-term liquified natural gas agreements, leveraging Equinor’s assets in the US and Qatar.