§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Energy where and with whom he has had discussions concerning the sale of British Gas's share in Wytch Farm oilfield in Dorset; and when he expects the conclusion of these talks and the public offer for sale to be announced.
§ Mr. John Moore
British Gas announced the public offer for sale of its 50 per cent. interest in PL 089, which includes the Wytch Farm oilfield, on 29 July 1982. The closing date for bids was 1 October 1982, and British Gas is currently assessing a number of bids for its interest. The negotiations are commercially confidential, and it would not be right for me to speculate on the outcome while they are still in progress. The Government are not directly involved in the negotiations, which are being conducted by British Gas, and I have had no discussions with any of the bidders concerning the sale whilst it has been in progress.