§ Mr. Joel Barnett
I have been asked to reply.
I am afraid that estimates of expected revenue from North Sea oil and gas on the basis of particular oil prices cannot generally be provided without disproportionate expenditure of staff and computer resources, and I am unable therefore to give an estimate on the basis of $8 a barrel. The readily available information, however, indicates that on the basis of an oil price of approximately $12 a barrel the United Kingdom Government would be deriving in the early 1980s a total income from North Sea oil and gas of the order of £3.5 billion a year. In view of the many uncertainties involved, no forecasts can be made available for a later period.