§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has considered the possibility of stocking certain types of heavy crude oil from overseas sources including the Midle East and Venezuela as a temporary insulation against subsequent price rises by members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
§ Dr. Mabon
Most oil stocked in the United Kingdom is held by oil companies which have received directions under Section 6 of the Energy Act 1976. These stocks reflect a balance between heavy and light crudes which take account of consumption requirements as well as relative prices. I do not consider the present20W level of stocks to be inadequate in the light of prospective price increases, taking into account security considerations as well as the significant costs of holding stocks.