§ Mr. Beaumont-Dark
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the arrangements for onshore licences following the making of the Petroleum (Production) Regulations 1982.
§ Mr. Lawson
The arrangements for onshore licensing are set out in the notice published in the official gazettes, copies of which I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The changes will bring these arrangements more closely into line with those for offshore licensing. The rental payments have been increased and there will now be a flat rate royalty at 12½ per cent. The provision under which BNOC may have an option to purchase at market value up to 51 per cent. of the petroleum produced is to continue.
I have also asked the British Gas Corporation in applying for onshore licences to confine its activities strictly to searching for gas. This applies to all applications involving the corporation, whether made on its own or as a member of a consortium. The corporation will be 69W required to dispose of its interest in any incidental oil discoveries made while searching for gas under a landward licence.