§ Mr. Chris Patten
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement on the progress of the review of the impact on marginal fields of the Government's offshore oil policies.
§ Mr. Gray
The study group which I set up to undertake the review has now submitted its first report to me the report concentrates mainly on the economics of marginal fields and draws conclusions on the threshhold size at which fields can be considered marginal on certain aassumptions about future real oil prices and taxation. It also concludes that if special assistance to marginal fields were justified royalty refunds would be the most appropriate and effective form of such assistance. The Government and the industry sides exchanged views about possible bases for royalty refund schemes. I have placed a copy of a summary of the report in the Library of the House and shall also make copies of this summary available on request. I have asked the group to continue in existence to keep under review the position on marginal fields.