HC Deb 01 June 1981 vol 5 cc276-7W
Mr. Jim Callaghan

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the latest estimates available of the reserves of each of the United Kingdom's indigenous energy resources; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gray

Details of oil and gas reserves are given in my annual report to Parliament. My report in April 1981 showed that the oil reserves likely to be economically recovered lie in the range 2,175–4,350 million tones—2,960–5,920 mtce—and gas reserves similarly to lie in the range 1,100–2,500 billion cubic metres—1,300–2,950 mtce.

Potential coal reserves, which are assessed in accordance with the criteria laid down by the 1976 World Energy Conference, are reviewed regularly in the light of information gained from the National Coal Board's exploration programme. Recent evaluation indicates United Kingdom technically recoverable reserves of about 45 billion tonnes and operating reserves of about 7 billion tonnes.

There are small reserves of uranium ores, but at present their exploitation would not be economic.

Future statements on reserves will be made as appropriate.