HC Deb 25 February 1976 vol 906 c199W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Energy which aspects of his statement on oil depletion made on 6th December 1974 remain Government policy in the light of subsequent developments; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Smith

Since my right hon. Friend the previous Secretary of State's policy statement of 6th December 1974—[Vol. 882, c. 646–8.)—the Government have taken powers in the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act that will enable control to be exercised over the rate of depletion of Britain's offshore oil. These powers will be used as and when they are needed to maximise the long-term benefit to the nation and in accordance with the guidelines in my right hon. Friend's policy statement. It continues to be the Government's aim to ensure a rapid build-up of Continental Shelf oil-production to eliminate net imports.

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