CAIRN Energy paid $66,000 (£51,600) to the UK Government last year during which it generated $504 million revenues from its North Sea oil and gas production.

The figures come from a report on payments made to governments filed by the Edinburgh-based oil and gas firm in accordance with regulatory requirements.

They highlight the value of tax breaks that were introduced to encourage firms to invest in the North Sea. These allow firms to set the cost of developments and historic losses against their tax bills.

READ MORE: Billions of barrels of crude could be left untouched in UK as coronavirus hastens 'peak oil'

In the company’s accounts for 2019, Cairn noted it had a made a profit in the UK which was fully offset by brought forward losses.

Led by chief executive Simon Thomson, the company generated $155m operating profit last year after losing $129m in 2018.

The contents of its filings may heighten alarm about the implications for the public finances of recent developments in the oil and gas industry.

The outlook for the area is bleak following the plunge in commodity prices triggered by the coronavirus.

This could result in some firms incurring hefty losses.

Firms that manage to make money may not have to pay tax on their profits due to the value of the allowances they qualify for.

READ MORE: Cairn Energy's $100m exit from Norway puts lucrative UK North Sea operations in focus

Cairn has invested huge sums in the North Sea in recent years.

The company started production from the giant Kraken and Catcher fields in 2017.

The UK Government made a series of changes to the tax regime to help the industry recover from the downturn that followed the sharp fall in the oil price from 2014 to 2016.

The report on payments to governments filed by Royal Dutch Shell in April showed it received around $110m more back from the UK Government in respect of its oil and gas exploration and production activity than it paid in taxes last year.

READ MORE: Shell nets $110m from taxpayers for North Sea business in one year

Shell was paid $74.3m in respect of Northern North Sea decommissioning work last year.

Cairn paid $66,000 to the UK Oil and Gas Authority in respect of licence fees last year.