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Oil And Pipelines Agency

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if the Oil and Pipelines Agency has published its first year's accounts; and if he will make a statement.

The agency submitted its first report and accounts to me today. These cover the 13 months ended 31 December 1986. I have laid copies before both Houses.The accounts show that the agency had a successful first 13 months operations, in which it made an operating profit of just over £6 million. The agency also substantially completed its duty under the Oil and Pipelines Act 1985 to realise the surplus net assets which it inherited from the British National Oil Corporation. Details are given in the notes to the accounts. As shown there, I have determined, with the approval of the Treasury. that the agency should retain an amount of £2,380,000 as its initial capital. This is £380,000 more than the figure shown in the public expenditure White Paper published in January (Cm. 56-II, page 407). This increase was agreed following discussions with the agency during preparation of its accounts, and reflects the need to treat as a capital item the costs which the agency incurred in establishing itself in smaller offices.