asked the Secretary of State for Energy what recent estimate his Department has made of (a) the oil refining requirement and (b) the oil refining capacity in the United Kingdom during 1975 and each of the subsequent 10 years.
United Kingdom net refining capacity at the end of 1974 was about 130 million tons per annum, compared to a throughput of 110 million tons in that year, and a surplus of capacity is expected to persist in 1975 and 1976. Some expansions at existing refineries can be expected, but the main propects for increased capacity are new refinery projects in the Thames Estuary and Cromarty Firth, which have either received planning permission or been the subject of public inquiries. If most of these developments go ahead, total net capacity is expected to be of the order of 150 million tons per annum in the early 1980s, which should be sufficient to meet our own needs and provide for some exports of refined products. My Department is in continuing discussion with the oil companies about their refining plans.