§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether he is satisfied with the legal protection against actions in law afforded by 51 per cent. participation agreements already concluded by the BNOC with third parties;
(2) whether he is satisfied that the 51 per cent. participation agreements already concluded by the BNOC are compatible with Articles 85 and 86 of the Rome Treaties and afford the parties involved protection against litigation initiated in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
§ Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has reached any further participation agreement.
§ Mr. Benn,
pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 21st December 1976; 302W Vol. 923, c. 123], gave the following information:
The British National Oil Corporation, Shell UK Ltd., Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. and I have today reached understandings on the principles of the arrangements to be concluded to give effect to the Government's policy of securing majority State participation in commercial oilfields discovered under existing licences. It is the intention that Memoranda of Principles will be signed on 5th January 1977, when further details will be made publicly available.