§ Mr. Ioan Evans
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what progress has been made with finance for Tricentrol's share of the development cost of the Thistle field since the announcement on 30th April of the Government's willingness, on certain conditions, to guarantee Tricentrol's borrowings for this purpose.
§ Mr. Benn
Tricentrol North Sea Ltd. has explained to my Department that it would need bridging finance until such time as longer-term finance for its share of the development cost of the Thistle 431W field could be made available and guaranteed by the Government, as set out in my predecessor's answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for West Stirling-shire (Mr. Canavan) on 30th April—[Vol. 891, c. 147–8]. Accordingly, on 11th June I gave an interim guarantee for bridging finance of £3 million for the development cost of Tricentrol's share of the Thistle field, pending the raising of longer-term finance for this purpose. The period of the guarantee is 12 months. In consideration for this interim guarantee, the computation of the Government's special guarantee royalty, to which reference was made in the answer referred to above, began from 11th June, and the minimum royalty of 5 per cent. of the well-head value of Tricentrol's share of production from the Thistle field has been earned. The sum for which the interim guarantee has been given is part of my maximum liability of £38.3 million referred to in my predecessor's answer.