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Austrian Mineral Oil Resources

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Austrian mineral-oil industry is working to capacity; what is the present monthly rate of production; how much of this is allocated to the Austrian market; what body determines the allocation of exports of mineral oils or finished products; and how much has been exported to the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom and other countries, respectively, during 1947.

The mineral oil resources of Austria are situated in the Soviet zone of occupation and are therefore at present under the ultimate control of the Soviet authorities. I have no accurate information as to the production of oil and its disposal, but it is estimated that production of crude oil at the beginning of the year was about 65,000 tons per month and has since declined somewhat. This figure compares with an average output of about 100,000 tons a month in 1944. On the information available I cannot say what the capacity of the industry is now.The Soviet authorities alone determine how the oil produced is to be disposed of. They place a given quantity at the disposal of the Austrian Government each month, and use or export the remainder. At the beginning of this year allocations of oil products for the use of the Austrian economy represented about half the total production. Since then allocations have been steadily reduced, while deliveries have fallen substantially below allocations. In May, the latest month for which complete figures are available, die Austrian economy received only some 26,800 tons out of an allocation of 34,400 tons. The allocations for June and July were 28,000 tons and 24,460 tons respectively. No precise information is available as to the disposal by the Soviet authorities of oil and oil products not allocated to the Austrian economy. None has been exported to the United Kingdom.