HC Deb 03 April 1968 vol 762 cc111-2W
Mr. Whitaker

asked the Minister of Power whether, in view of the fact that the price agreement on North Sea gas he announced with the Phillips consortium is expected to give the consortium a return of £250 million in return for their outlay of £25 million, he will give an assurance that he will not allow any larger profit in any future agreement.

Mr. Marsh

In my statement on 6th March—[Vol. 760, c. 458]—about the Gas Council's contract with the Phillips Group, I reminded the House of the Government's policy objectives for the exploration and development of the North Sea, with special regard to the price of the gas. I would expect the Gas Council to continue to be guided by these objectives in their further negotiations and I hope that the companies will also give full weight to them.

The figure of £250 million quoted by my hon. Friend appears to refer to gross revenue and would be very substantially reduced if allowance were made for tax, royalties and the fact that it will accrue over a long period of time.