§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what directions or guidance he has given the British National Oil Corporation in exercise of its role in determining the reference price for North sea crude oil; and whether there are factors other than commercial considerations which he requires it to take into account;
(2) if he will issue a direction to the British National Oil Corporation requiring it to take account of the requirements of articles 80 to 85 of the Rome Treaties and the needs of Group 77 amongst other factors in deciding a reference price for North sea crude oil.
§ Mr. Gray
I have not given, neither do I have plans to give, a direction to BNOC in relation to its prices. The corporation decides these on the basis of negotiations with both supplying and purchasing companies by whom they have to be accepted; all the parties are bound to have regard to developments elsewhere in the world oil market. As the House would expect, the corporation keeps me200W informed of developments. It would not be practicable within this framework for BNOC to set prices for United Kingdom continental shelf oil by reference to the interests of any particular group of countries.