HC Deb 05 July 1979 vol 969 cc706-7W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what consideration is being given to a new gathering pipeline to bring ashore gas from the northern sector of the North Sea.

Mr. David Howell

Mobil North Sea Limited has indicated that it is considering the construction of a gas pipeline to transport gas to Great Britain from block 9/13A, which includes the Beryl field operated by Mobil. At my request, it has discussed with the British Gas Corporation—BGC—the possibility of designing the line to accommodate other gas of the quantity and quality expected to be available in the Northern basin of the North Sea from the mid-1980s. British Gas and Mobil have now agreed to draw up jointly specifications for a feasibility and design study of such a project and to carry out the study as quickly as possible.

The study will concentrate on gas which is likely to arise around a line running South from quadrant 211 to the area of quadrants 15 and 16, then westward to the Scottish coast. But it will consider also other gas likely to arise North of the 56th parallel. Although preliminary indications are that a new gas line will be required, the study will also consider whether this gas might be accommodated in the existing pipeline systems. The operators of those systems have assured me of their co-operation. I also look to the licensees of fields which might feed gas into a new line to co-operate fully both in discussions of the gas reserves which might be available and of the platform facilities which would be relevant to their collection.

The indications are that the new gas to be landed will be rich in natural gas liquids. The study will therefore need to

1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
Canada 1.9 1.9 1.7 1.6 1.5
France 2.6 2.2 2.5 2.4 2.4
Germany, Federal Republic 2.3 2.1 2.3 2.3 2.3
Itay 2.2 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.1
Japan 2.3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.3
United Kingdom 2.3 1.9 1.8 1.5 1.4
United States 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.0
1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
Canada 3.1 3.1 3.4 3.4 3.5
France 2.0 1.8 1.9 1.8 1.9
Germany, Federal Republic 1.9 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.1
Italy 1.7 1.5 1.6 1.5 1.5
Japan 1.8 1.7 2.0 2.1 2.1
United Kingdom 1.7 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.5
United States 3.1 3.4 3.5 3.6
* Crude oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum products.
† Mid 1976 population figures used throughout.
‡ Information on a comparable basis not available.
OECD Quarterly Oil Statistics.
United Nations Statistical Yearbook 1977 (for population figures).

I am not in a position to speculate about future oil imports and consumption for other countries, but United Kingdom imports can be expected to continue to fall as North Sea production increases.