§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will estimate the cost of a 51 per cent. share by the British National Oil Corporation in the exploration and development of the blocks offered in the fifth round of offshore licensing; and if he will make a statement on his proposals for raising such capital.
§ Dr. J. Dickson Mabon
The cost of BNOC's contribution in respect of blocks licensed under the fifth round will depend on the drilling obligations agreed with successful applicants and on the number, size and location of commercial discoveries. In addition to the funds available in the National Oil Account, the Corporation may, under the provisions of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-Lines Act 1975, either borrow in sterling through my right hon. Friend from the NLF or in any currency from a person other than him. It is too early to say what combination of these possible sources of funds the BNOC might utilise.