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Oil And Gas Resources

Volume 890: debated on Monday 14 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he will publish his next report to Parliament on production and reserves of oil and gas in the United Kingdom.

My 1975 Report to Parliament entitled "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom" will be published this afternoon and copies will be available in the Library of the House, and in the Vote Office stores.The report confirms that we are on target for oil self-sufficiency in 1980, and that oil production of between 100 and 150 million tons per annum or even higher is attainable throughout the 1980s. Our proven recoverable reserves of oil now stand at over 1,000 million tons, an increase of nearly 20 per cent. compared with last May, and total recoverable reserves in presently designated areas of our Continental Shelf are estimated at between 3,000 million and 4,500 million tons.Production of gas last year averaged 3,500mcfd and provided some 95 per cent. of the United Kingdom's consumption.

Reserves of gas in all discoveries in the United Kingdom sector made up to the end of 1974 are now estimated to lie between 27 and 45 trillion (1012 ) cubic feet and should support a production level of about 5,000mcfd well into the 1980s.

Drilling activity over the last year has been at a higher level than ever before, particularly in the area to the east of Shetlands. Up to the end of March this year, 18 new significant petroleum discoveries have been made, and since the report went to press three more oil finds have been announced.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what he estimates to be the current free world surplus of oil and its likely effect on petroleum prices.

Free world productive capacity is probably about 8 million barrels per day greater than demand at present prices. Producer Governments are, however, reducing poduction in order to maintain prices. So far, therefore, the surplus capacity seems to have had little effect on prices. I cannot predict future trends.