§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many exploration licences, awarded for the exploration of oil and gas in the North Sea, have been given up by the holders since such licences were first awarded, to date.
§ Mr. John Smith
Of the 109 exploration licences granted since licensing began in 1964, 61 have run the full term of three years and have now expired. A further 12 have been surrendered before due date.