The UK Government is missing out on tax revenue worth $44bn from a predicted 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from discoveries in the UK Continental Shelf, according to consultancy firm Hannon Westwood.

Hannon Westwood has found 90 discoveries that are capable of producing an estimated 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent if brought on stream over the next five years.

The discoveries are anticipated to attract an investment of $50bn, which will take care of the funding needs for the preservation of export routes, the creation of jobs and providing indigenous oil and gas supplies.

The required capex investment alone is calculated at $33bn and the expected shortfall in development funds lies between $8bn and $18bn, according to Hannon Westwood.

The consultancy firm said that each discovery needs to be investigated to improve its chances of investment, and opined that government interventions, such as tax allowances within this group, will be more effective than market forces.

Hannon Westwood director Jim Hannon said that new North Sea oil and gas has a real role to play in managing the UK’s transition to a greener economy in term of jobs, taxes and security of supply.

“But the barriers to new production are immense, and we stand to leave supplies in the ground unless we change the investment landscape,” he said.