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Volume 641: debated on Monday 5 June 1961

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asked the Minister of Power if he will estimate the effect on coal consumption in the United Kingdom that would follow the import of Saharan gas, up to 1,000 million cubic feet per year, as agreed upon in Paris on 26th May by the Gas Council and the French producer companies.

I cannot yet give an estimate of the possible overall effect. Imported methane would displace some coal gas. It would also supplant some oil for gas making and, as an enriching gas, enhance the value of lean gases produced from coal. An estimate based on the theoretical coal equivalent of a given amount of methane could therefore be misleading.