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North Sea Oil (Exploration)

Volume 959: debated on Monday 4 December 1978

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15.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action he proposes to take to encourage oil companies to increase their exploration activities in the North Sea in preference to other parts of the world.

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many oil exploration wells were drilled in the North Sea during the period June to August for each of the years 1976, 1977 and 1978, respectively.

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied with the current level of offshore exploration activity.

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied with the level of oil exploration in the North Sea and elsewhere on the United Kingdom continental shelf.

During the period June to August in each of the past three years, the numbers of exploration wells spudded in the United Kingdom continental shelf were 17 in 1976, 22 in 1977, and three in 1978. In the complete years, the totals were 58 and 67 in 1976 and 1977 respectively, and the estimate for 1978 is 39. The Department is analysing the reasons for this reduction with the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association and BNOC. The number of applications for sixth round licences—55 applications for 46 blocks—is very encouraging.

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the number, scope and provenance of the applications received by his Department for licences in the sixth round of North Sea oil exploration by British and foreign companies or consortia.

The sixth round of licensing attracted 55 applications, covering all 46 blocks offered, from nearly 100 companies—United Kingdom, other EEC and European, USA and Canadian.