HC Deb 30 January 1947 vol 432 c1099
32. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, in view of the coal shortage, what steps are to be taken to intensify the search for oil in Great Britain; and what is the present approximate weekly production of oil from British wells.

Mr. Shinwell

The present approximate weekly production of oil from British wells amounts to 990 tons. The companies holding prospecting licences under the Petroleum (Production) Act, 1934, have carried out and are carrying out a very active search in many parts of this country, employing the most modern scientific methods.

Mr. Mathers

In considering this matter, will the Minister bear in mind that he has a fruitful source of supply in the undeveloped shale fields in this country?

Mr. Shinwell

They are being developed to their fullest capacity.

Mr. Sutcliffe

In view of the fact that the position is more grave now than it was during the whole of the war, is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that there are no -further supplies available in the oilfields that have already been worked?

Mr. Shinwell

I can assure the hon. Member that this matter is constantly being investigated. We hoped to secure more abundant supplies, but I am afraid the geological and geophysical conditions of this country do not permit it.