asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the sale of profitable sections of Burmah Oil such as Signal Oil and Edwin Cooper and the closure of the Burmah Research Centre at Bromborough.
As I told the House on 15th January, some slimming down of Burmah's operations was an inevitable part of the reconstruction of the company's activities. I am informed that the company has asked its American financial advisers to seek firm offers for its American assets; that it has reached agreement in principle with the Ethyl Corporation for the sale of Edwin Cooper; and that the closure of the Bromborough research facilities has been necessitated by heavy and rising costs, but research and development will continue in the company's other establishments.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the sale by Burmah of 75 per cent. of its share in the Ninian and Thistle fields in the North Sea.
I would refer my hon. Friend to my statement in the House on 15th January—[Vol. 884, c. 448–449]—that, inter alia, Burmah had undertaken, in consideration for the support to be provided by the Bank and the Government, to transfer to the Government, when required, 51 per cent. of its interest in commercial oilfields in the North Sea. Negotiations with the company on the terms on which this transfer will take place are in progress. Any sale by Burmah of any part of its interests in the Thistle and Ninian fields would require my consent.