§ Mr. Cockeram
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what payments were made to the British National Oil Corporation in connection with the termination of its link with the national oil account.
§ Mr. Nigel Lawson
As my right hon. Friend foreshadowed in the debate on 14 December 1982 on the BNOC (Borrowing Powers) Order 1982 a payment from the National Oil Account under section 40(3)(a) of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975 of £36,868,000 was made to the British National Oil Corporation on 29th December 1982, in the course of establishing in place of the link with the National Oil Account the new financial structure of the Corporation. The payment included a sum of £6,868,000, sufficient to cover, with a small margin, the Corporation's estimated net liabilities outstanding on 31st December. To the extent that this figure exceeds the actual liabilities, I have determined that the Corporation will assume a commencing debt equal to any excess. The debt will be repaid as soon as audited figures are available. The 233W remaining £30 million was paid to the Corporation to enable it to purchase certain securities as financial reserves in support of its oil trading activities.