§ Mr. Benn,
pursuant to his reply to the supplementary question by the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Rodgers), [Official Report, 9th January 1977; Vol. 941, c. 1254], supplied the following further information:
In addition to seismic survey work, one exploration well and one appraisal well were drilled in the Irish Sea off the coast of Lancashire in 1977 and a further appraisal well is currently being drilled in the area; the appraisal wells are associated with the gas discovery in block 110/2, reported by Hydrocarbons Great Britain Ltd. in 1974. No exploration is at present being conducted in the mouth of the Mersey. As I announced on 23rd November last, the conditional award of a licence to Hydrocarbons, covering block 110/9 in the Irish Sea and two blocks in Cardigan Bay, has now been confirmed.