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Brexit ‘has not killed appetite to invest’ in UK North Sea, says Equinor boss

Equinor’s UK boss has insisted Brexit “has not killed appetite to invest” in the North Sea.

Hedda Felin, senior vice president at the Norwegian energy firm, was asked about the implications of Britain leaving the EU at the Devex conference yesterday at Aberdeen’s AECC.

Joined in a panel discussion by Total UK managing director, Jean-Luc Guiziou, both argued the industry can overcome issues arising from Brexit.

Ms Felin said: “It hasn’t killed appetite to invest in the UKCS.

“It’s definitely very high on our agenda when we risk assess to see how it can impact, but we also have experience from Norway showing that it is possible to do business outside the EU.”

Her comments were echoed by Mr Guizou of Total, who said the industry wants to see a Brexit that does not cause additional disruption to operations.

He said: “We’re used to working in legislations across the world that are different from the EU legislation, so we can certainly manage Brexit.

“What we would like to see as a company, probably as an industry as well, is a Brexit that would retain common sense and not increase paper work and delays in the supply chain – additional import taxes, for instance, on both sides between the EU and the UK.

“Other than that, we’re comfortable. We don’t see Brexit as a big threat to our business.”

The UK was meant to leave the EU on March 29, however Prime Minister Theresa May asked for an extension after MP’s voted not to back her withdrawal deal.

EU leaders have granted an extension to the Brexit date to October 31.

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