§ Mr. Onslow
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what naval vessels are currently assigned to the protection of oil rigs and other oilfield installations in the North Sea.
§ Mr. Duffy
HMS "Jura" is assigned full time to the protection of oil rigs and other oilfield installations in the North Sea and to fishery protection duties. She will return to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, from which she is on loan to the Royal Navy, on 16th December and will be replaced by HMS "Jersey" the first of the five Island Class ships specifically ordered for offshore protection tasks. HMS "Reward" was similarly assigned full time to these duties until her loss on 10th August 1976 following a collision in fog in the Firth of Forth. She was to have remained in service on the offshore tasks until March 1977 when she would have been relieved by HMS "Orkney", the second of the Island Class. Her duties have been undertaken instead by operational frigates on a rotational basis. The ship nominated to carry out "Reward's" next planned patrol is HMS "Lincoln", which, together with HMS "Jaguar" was brought forward from the Standby Squadron earlier in the year. Similar arrangements will remain in force until HMS "Orkney" comes into service next year. Other ships are also routed through the area on an opportunity basis.