HL Deb 16 January 1979 vol 397 cc933-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will explain the position of the British National Oil Corporation as a necessary participant in all applications for exploration licences at the same time as they are advisers to the Government on overall policy regarding the Continental Shelf.


BNOC is an applicant for Sixth Round licences pursuant to the published arrangements for the Round which require a majority State interest in each licence granted. In its advisory capacity, the Corporation was consulted about these arrangements by the Secretary of State prior to their publication. Decisions concerning licensing arrangements, including the award of licences, of course remain the responsibility of the Secretary of State. Information provided in confidence by applicants will be treated as such by the Secretary of State.