HC Deb 22 July 1974 vol 877 cc308-9W
24. Mr. Sproat

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on his Department's latest estimate of the annual extraction rate of offshore oil.

Mr. Strang

The latest estimates of United Kingdom offshore oil production are shown in the report presented to Parliament last May.

Sir D. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what assistance he expects to be given by the EEC to United Kingdom companies for research and development in the offshore oil industry.

Mr. Strang

Under EEC Regulation No. 3056/73 there is provision for Community financial support for technological development projects directly connected with prospecting, producing, storing or transporting hydrocarbons. A budget has been allocated to this scheme of approximately £10 million per annum over the next three years. It is open to companies in any member State to submit proposals to the EEC Commission, and in the first round United Kingdom companies have an interest in three of the applications. No allocation of funds has so far been made. I hope that United Kingdom firms will not neglect the opportunity this presents.

Mr. Churchill

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the minimum and maximum figures he has in mind as the cost to the British taxpayer, in taxation or loans raised overseas, to finance the Government's plans for participation in the development of Great Britain's oil and gas reserves up to 1985.

Mr. Varley

I have nothing to add to the answer given to the hon. Member's previous Question of 17th July.

34. Mr. Warren

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the estimated price to be paid for the purchase by Her Majesty's Government of the rights and assets required by the Government to implement the Government's United Kingdom offshore oil policy announced in the House on 11th July 1974.

Mr. Varley

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given in reply to a similar Question from the hon. Member for Stretford (Mr. Churchill) on 17th July.