§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if it is his policy to negotiate refining agreements with individual oil companies; what will be his objectives in such negotiations; and what steps will be taken to ensure development of refining of petrochemicals in Scotland to take account of oil landed from the Scottish sector of the North Sea.
§ Dr. Mabon
Almost all of the oil companies with interests on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf have now signed participation agreements which provide for consultations with my Department about their plans for using their oil production and I expect to secure similar consultative arrangements in all relevant cases. My aim will be to ensure that commercial planning takes due account of wider national interests and, in particular, that the fullest economic use is made of United Kingdom refining plant and manpower. I shall be alert to any opportunity for economic downstream activities. In locating these, Scotland's development area status will be a weighty factor.