asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the granting of 14 petroleum exploration licences to Shell UK Limited, in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
The grant of the licences, covering other parts of Britain as well as areas in the counties mentioned, was announced in the London Gazette on 15th April. The licences, which are in the standard form prescribed by the Petroleum (Production) Regulations 1966 as amended in 1972, authorise surface surveys and drilling to not more than 350 metres to obtain geological information about strata. Planning permission, where necessary, must first be obtained. The licences do not permit the extraction