HC Deb 17 February 1986 vol 92 cc6-7
5. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much gas was flared from offshore fields on the United Kingdom continental shelf during 1985; and how this compares with 1979.

Mr. Buchannan-Smith

A daily average of 6.6 million cubic metres of gas was flared from offshore installations in 1985. In 1979 the comparable figure was about 18 million cubic metres a day. This represents a reduction of about 63 per cent. in gas flaring over a period when oil production increased by about 60 per cent.

Mr. Hannam

I congratulate the industry and the Government on achieving this substantial reduction in gas flaring. Does that not confirm that we were right not to proceed with the gas-gathering pipeline? Is there further scope for improvement in systems to reduce gas wastage?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The industry's action in gathering gas is significant. For example, this summer we shall see the commissioning of the Fulmar-St. Fergus pipeline, which has the scope to take in additional fields. The north leg extension of the flags pipeline is just beginning to take gas from Statfjord. I welcome all these developments.