§ Mr. Campbell
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he intends to make a transfer of funds from the National Oil Account to the Consolidated Fund, as provided for in section 40(3) of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975.
§ Mr. Benn
With Treasury agreement, I have today made a transfer of £75 million from the National Oil Account to the Consolidated Fund. This follows a review of the balance in the account in the light of the inflow of petroleum royalties at the end of February and consultation with BNOC about the Corporation's likely needs for funds from the NOA over the 797W next few months. This surplus is one indication of the growing benefit to the Exchequer and to the taxpayer of Goverment policy in the North Sea.