asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many cubic metres of gas are being flared daily from the northern North Sea pool; and when he expects that facilities ashore will be available to use this large amount of valuable feed stock.
About 8 million cubic metres of gas are currently being flared each day from the seven producing oil fields in the northern North Sea. Some temporary gas flaring is unavoidable for operational reasons in the early stages of production. In a number of cases it is possible to reinject gas to enhance oil recovery or for storage pending the completion of a gas gathering pipeline system. Minimising flaring in the longer term depends on the development of economically viable means of transporting the gas ashore. This is being studied by Gas Gathering Pipelines (North Sea) Ltd. the establishment of which my right hon. Friend announced in the House on 9th December.—[Vol. 922, c. 311–313.]