There were 39 key fiscal changes enacted or legislated in 2015. 40% of all fiscal adjustments were to royalty and other revenue-based fiscal terms. Corporate Income Tax rate changes were also a regular feature, accounting for 20% of government share revisions. Europe and the Americas were the most active in making changes in 2015 and contributed to many of the royalty and income tax adjustments.
Licensing activity was impacted by the cut in discretionary spending in 2015. Offshore bid rounds were affected the most, because there was limited appetite to sign up to expensive offshore exploration programmes. In comparison, onshore rounds faired better, with award rates of 80% plus. Mexico was the big licensing story of 2015, with the multi-phase Round One grabbing the headlines. We would expect the trend towards lower cost onshore exploration continuing this year, with countries adding onshore acreage to 2016 bid rounds.
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