HC Deb 13 February 1978 vol 944 cc71-2W
28. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total number of offshore licence blocks in which exploration and development is proceeding, and in which public participation has been arranged.

Dr. J. Dickson Mabon

Out of the 484 blocks licensed at present, 135 have been licensed to groups involving the public sector through BNOC or BGC. In addition, participation agreements now concluded provide for BNOC participation in exploration or development on 41 other blocks and on many of the remaining licensed blocks if and when development becomes commercial. BNOC already has participation interest in 10 oil fields under development or in production and we expect participation agreements relating to other fields to be finalised shortly.

33. Mr. David Price

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many licences to carry out test drillings for oil and natural gas in the county of Hampshire have so far been issued; how many such test drillings have so far been started; and what are the results to date.

Dr. J. Dickson Mabon

Five production and 13 exploration licences covering areas wholly or partly in Hampshire are currently in force. No drilling has yet taken place under these licences.

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