HC Deb 16 December 1988 vol 143 cc744-5W
Mr. Denzil Davies

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to what factors he attributes the fall from £1,063 million in the period August to October 1987 to £393 million in the period August to October 1988 in the United Kingdom's trade in oil.

Mr. Peter Morrison

I have been asked to reply.

The biggest single factor explaining the change in the United Kingdom trade balance in oil over the period was the significant fall in crude prices, which reflects a weakening in the world oil market.

In addition, oil production is provisionally estimated to have fallen by around 14 per cent. between the two periods—a significant part of which is due to the loss in output from fields affected by the Piper accident. Domestic oil consumption has also increased.