HC Deb 22 February 1979 vol 963 c308W
Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs within what distance of the Falkland Islands licences are required from Her Majesty's Government in order to prospect for and extract oil from beneath the seabed; and how many such licences have been issued.

Mr. Tomlinson

Under the Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf and under general international law, the consent of the British Government is required to prospect for and extract oil from any area of the seabed which appertains to the Falkland Islands. Licences may be issued for these and similar purposes by the governor under local legislation within the 100 fathom line as defined by the Falkland Islands (Continental Shelf) Order in Council 1950. Consent was given last year to two United States survey companies to carry out a seismic survey around the Falkland Islands. No licences have been issued for the prospecting or extraction of oil.