§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether any applications have been made since 1976 to the Secretary of State under section 9(5) of the Energy Act 1976 for the manufacture of liquefied natural gas or ethane; and why he proposes to retain the power in paragraph 36, schedule III of the Oil and Gas (Enterprise) Bill.
§ Mr. Gray
Two consents have been given under section 9(5) of the Energy Act 1976. The requirement to obtain consent for the liquefaction of offshore natural gas to produce liquid methane or ethane is retained in the Oil and Gas (Enterprise) Bill since such liquefaction is costly and energy-intensive and might not always be in the national interest, if for example an alternative existed whereby the methane or ethane could be transported by pipe.