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Oil Production

Volume 940: debated on Thursday 1 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether the EEC energy policy objective, document (2317) R/1959/77, requiring oil production within the EEC of 140 million tonnes of oil in 1985, is consistent with the North Sea oil depletion policy of Her Majesty's Government; and if he will make a statement.

The draft resolution attached to document R/1959 /77 is being discussed in Brussels, and the wording has already been modified to make it clear that any figure for oil production would be an objective not an undertaking. The resolution would not, therefore, be inconsistent with Her Majesty's Government's depletion policies. However, the United Kingdom is indicating in discussion that it does not in any case consider it sensible to express an overall EEC objective in terms of such a single figure given, for example, the considerable technical uncertainties underlying the United Kingdom's own estimate that United Kingdom production in 1985 will be within the range 100–150 million tonnes.