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Burmah Oil Company Ltd

Volume 893: debated on Tuesday 17 June 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy in seeking any further Government participation in Burmah Oil's Ninian and Thistle North Sea oilfields to take into consideration during the making of any such arrangements the profit made by the Bank of England over the acquisition in January of Burmah Oil shares.

I presume that the hon. Member is speaking of the Bank of England's acquisition of the shares in BP formerly held by the Burmah Oil Company. The price paid for these shares is a separate issue from the negotiations with the Burmah Oil Company over participation in the North Sea oilfields which are now taking place.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider meeting with the board of Burmah Oil to discuss with it a possible renegotiation of the terms by which in January the Bank of England acquired shares in that company.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present estimate of the increase in value of Burmah Oil shares acquired in January by the Bank of England since that acquisition.

I presume the hon. Member is referring to the Bank of England's acquisition of the shares in BP formerly held by the Burmah Oil Company. The Bank purchased from the Company 77·8 million ordinary stock units of the British Petroleum Company for a sum of nearly £179 million. On the assumption that so large a holding could be sold at the current market price, which is by no means necessarily the case, the value of the holding at the close of business on 12th June was just over £395 million, or £216 million more than cost.