HC Deb 17 April 1978 vol 948 cc31-2W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the report to him by Gas Gathering Pipelines Ltd.

Mr. Benn

Gas Gathering Pipelines Ltd. (GGP) has submitted its final report to me and I am studying it. The company is preparing a version of the report which omits commercially confidential information and this will in due course be published.

I am grateful to GGP for its report which will merit careful study. One point GGP has stressed both in its final report and in the interim report it submitted in December is that action is urgently needed if flaring from fields near Brent is to be minimised. In accordance with GGP's recommendations I have discussed this aspect with British Gas, BNOC, and Shell/Esso.

Shell/Esso—licensees of the Brent oilfield and owners of the FLAGS Gas pipeline from Brent to St. Fergus—have applied for my authorisation under Section 20 of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act to a gas pipe-line link from Cormorant to Brent. They have also entered into negotiations with certain licensees to the west of Brent on the terms of transmitting the gas from their fields through that pipeline and the FLAG system.

My general objective is to ensure that all gas which can be collected economically is brought ashore. I have therefore asked Shell-Esso to press forward as urgently as possible their discussions with those other licensees and to keep me closely informed about their progress. I shall have the Shell-Esso proposals very much in mind in considering individual field development plans including proposed pipelines and applications for consent to flare gas.

Shell-Esso's present proposals do not deal with the collection of gas from the fields to the north of Brent where a similar gathering system would be needed. There is less urgency about this area as gas is not expected to be available from these fields until about 1982.

Forward to