§ The Minister of Power (Mr. Richard Marsh)
The latest public announcement of a strike of natural gas there was made by Mobil Producing North Sea Ltd., on 23rd January.
§ Mr. Moyle
Would my right hon. Friend tell the exploration companies that if they get a reasonable price per therm for natural gas there should be no dragging of feet and that, if they are doing this out of pique at not getting the exhorbitant price which they are asking, this will not be tolerated?
§ Mr. Lubbock
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, according to information which I have received, the total discoveries of gas in the North Sea are about 50 per cent. larger than the published estimates of 3,000 million cu. ft. a day over the next 30 years? In view of the effect which these large discoveries may have on the final negotiated price, would he see that all future strikes are announced to the public and given to the Committee which is considering this matter?
§ Mr. Marsh
No, the position is that all the companies submit their drilling logs in confidence to the Ministry. The fullest information is made available to the Ministry. There is a great element of doubt over some of the figures from time to time, and, indeed, there is a great 204 deal of mythology about the whole exercise. But I am satisfied that we have enough information on the matter.