HC Deb 26 January 1981 vol 997 cc632-3
18. Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to finalise and announce the allocation of oil exploration plans in the seventh round.

Mr. Gray

Assessment of seventh round applications for blocks designated by the Department is still in progress. I expect to make a further announcement next month concerning the awards.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. In view of press suggestions that there have been hitches or delays, can he confirm that things are going according to plan?

Mr. Gray

I am happy to confirm that they are going according to plan. A considerable amount of work has been involved in interviewing those on short lists for various blocks. The Department has been under considerable pressure as regards petroleum engineers. Nevertheless, everything is going according to plan, and we hope to make an announcement next month.

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