§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy for what purpose he has granted an exploration licence to Seismograph Services (England) Ltd. on behalf of the licence holder Fina Explorations Ltd. in respect of the parishes of Whitmore, Swynnerton, Keele, Astbury cum Morton, Alsager and the boroughs of Newcastle, Congleton and Stoke City; and what precise consultation he has had with the county councils on this matter.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
The parishes and boroughs listed by the hon. Member are covered by petroleum exploration licence EXL 067, operated by Fina Petroleum. The choice of seismic contractor is a commercial matter for the licensee. Prior to carrying out any seismic surveys under the licence the licensee is required to consult with the relevant mineral planning authorities, who are the Staffordshire and Cheshire county councils.