§ 15. Mr. Tim Renton
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action he proposes to take to encourage oil companies to increase their exploration activities in the North Sea in preference to other parts of the world.
§ 24. Mr. Patrick McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied with the level of oil exploration in the North Sea and elsewhere on the United Kingdom continental shelf.
§ Dr. Mabon
During the period June to August in each of the past three years,470W the numbers of exploration wells spudded in the United Kingdom continental shelf were 17 in 1976, 22 in 1977, and three in 1978. In the complete years, the totals were 58 and 67 in 1976 and 1977 respectively, and the estimate for 1978 is 39. The Department is analysing the reasons for this reduction with the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association and BNOC. The number of applications for sixth round licences—55 applications for 46 blocks—is very encouraging.