§ Mr. Arbuthnot
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what new imports of gas have been agreed within the last 12 months.
§ Mr. Wakeham
None. If a purchaser wished to construct a marine pipeline to carry imports, consent would be required under the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-Lines Act 1975 and a treaty would have to be negotiated with the country from whose territory the pipeline crossed to the United Kingdom. In the case of the pipeline from the Frigg field, which is now in rapid decline, a new treaty or amendment of the existing treaty would be required to govern any new uses of the line. British Gas plc gave an undertakkng in 1986 that it would consult the Government regarding any import plans as these develop. In considering any import proposals, we shall weigh carefully the availability of competitive UKCS gas supplies and the market opportunities open.