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Oil

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had on the (a) availability and (b) use of (i) oil sands and (ii) oil shale. (304051)

I would draw attention to the Westminster Hall debate of 27 October 2009, Official Report, columns 1-23WH, on biofuels. Statistics on the use of biodiesel made from oil seed are published by the Renewable Fuels Agency on their website:

http://www.renewablefuelsagency.org/reportsandpublications/rtforeports.cfm

Extraction of oil from shale in the UK began in Scotland in 1862 from limited oil shale deposits in West Lothian but has not been carried out now for some 40 years. However, in the last onshore licensing round in 2008, industry did show some interest in the potential surrounding shale gas in the UK. My Department has recently contracted the British Geological Survey to carry out a reassessment of potential oil and gas shale resources in the UK.