Mr. Ted Fletcher
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take action to ensure that British based companies, operating in the North Sea purchase their oil rigs and equipment from British firms.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
One of the criteria under which discretionary licence applications were judged in the last licensing round in 1971 was the extent of the contribution which the applicant had made or was planning to make to the economy of the United Kingdom including the strengthening of the balance of payments and the growth of industry and employment.
The oil companies have agreed to provide quarterly returns of their purchases so that the Government can assess the extent to which they are giving a full and fair opportunity to British companies to compete for orders.
§ Mr. Sillars
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many structures in the Scottish sector of the North Sea have still to be examined for oil-bearing potential.