HC Deb 06 December 1973 vol 865 cc467-8W
Mr. Millan

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what indications he has taken regarding the present and future requirements for steel of the offshore oil and gas industry.

Mr. Anthony Grant

My Department is in close touch with industry about the effects of shortage of steel on offshore developments. Discussions have taken place recently with the four main platform constructors, with the operating companies and with the United Kingdom Oil Operators Association. Discussions with the British Steel Corporation are imminent.

Mr. Millan

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he is taking to assist the development of underwater technology in relation to the North Sea oil industry.

Mr. Tom Boardman

The Ship and Marine Technology Requirements Board

Third Quarter Fourth Quarter First Quarter Second Quarter Total
1972 1972 1973 1973 4 Quarters
United Kingdom
Number 21,843* 26,900* 36,501* 33,826* 119,070*
Value £'000 12,040* 15,212* 20,622* 19,121* 66,995*
North Humberside Area
Number 4,215 5,467 7,214 7,598 24,494
Value £'000 2,315 3,228 4,453 4,256 14,252
Source : Business Statistics Office, Quarterly Inquiries.
* Revised 26th November 1973.

is conducting, and supporting jointly with industry, a research and development programme for the improvement of offshore technology, including inspection and repair of structures and pipelines, new underwater techniques for welding, cutting and tools, high-definition acoustic aids, and the assessment of further underwater engineering systems including manned and unmanned submersibles.

Mr. Millan

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action has been taken on the recommendation of the IMEG report on North Sea oil that encouragement should be given by grants and loans under the Industry Act to small firms to supply equipment and services for offshore operations.

Mr. Tom Boardman

The Scottish Petroleum Office in Glasgow and the Offshore Supplies Office in London which were set up as a consequence of the IMEG Report can guide and assist small firms to prepare applications for regional development grants and selective assistance under the Industry Act.

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