HL Deb 06 November 1980 vol 414 cc1195-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which onshore exploration licences are limited to seismic surveys; which allow drilling; in which cases exploration activity still awaits planning permission; in which cases this awaits the outcome of a public inquiry; and in which cases has an exploration drilling programme been completed.

The Earl of GOWRIE

With the exception of drilling shallow boreholes to obtain geological information, operations under landward exploration licences are restricted to geophysical survey work. Drilling for the purposes of searching for and getting petroleum may be carried out only under production licences and mining licences. There are no outstanding drilling obligations on the mining and production licences now in force. The question of planning permission for exploration work is a matter between the licensee and the particular planning authority concerned; I understand that at present there are no applications for planning permission subject to public inquiry.