HC Deb 24 May 1979 vol 967 cc191-2W
Sir Nicholas Bonsor

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the recent meeting of the Energy Council.

Mr. David Howell

The second EEC Council of Energy Ministers under French presidency met in Brussels on 17 May 1979. The main items we discussed were the serious oil supply situation in the Community and its economic consequences; the measures adopted and planned by member States to reduce their oil consumption by 5 per cent. in 1979; and improved arrangements for monitoring the oil market.

Member States reaffirmed their determination to take the measures necessary to reduce their oil consumption substantially. The Council examined a report by the Commission on the measures being implemented and worked out by member States with the aim of reducing Community consumption of oil and petroleum products in 1979 to 500 million tonnes, and considered that measures already adopted, along with those under urgent consideration, should enable this target to be met. It also stressed the vital importance of additional voluntary efforts and looked for similar action from other industrialised countries.

The Council examined and approved measures proposed by the Commission which are intended to improve the information available on the quantities of oil and petroleum products imported into the Community, and on their prices. It also took note of the Commission's arrangements for the resumption from 1 June of the monitoring of the spot markets, especially that of Rotterdam, and noted that the trend of consumer prices in member States had in general followed closely that of official crude prices and not the trend of spot quotations.

The Council agreed the detailed implementation of Community arrangements for licensing exports of oil and petroleum products from one member State to another in an emergency.