HC Deb 01 December 1969 vol 792 cc900-1
17. Sir J. Eden

asked the Minister of Technology what is the estimated expenditure on Continental Shelf exploration and development by the National Coal Board and the Gas Council, respectively, in each of the next five years.

Mr. Benn

Over the next five years the estimates made by the two industries of average expenditure under current licences and in respect of known discoveries are: Gas Council about £5 million a year and the National Coal Board about £4 million a year.

Sir J. Eden

Can the Minister say what proportion of that will be spent by Gas Council Exploration Ltd. or by any of its other subsidiaries?

Mr. Benn

I cannot specifically answer that question. I should draw attention to the fact that I am referring to current licences and known discoveries. This does not cover forecast expenditure under future licences. But I will consider whether I can give a more satisfactory answer.