§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if his Department intends to license any explorations for(a) oil or (b) coal, in the county of Essex;
(2) when his Department last licensed trials in Essex for (a) oil and (b) coal mining;
(3) if his Department intends to license any exploratory boring for (a) oil and (b) coal measures in the areas of (i) Harwich, (ii) Weeley in the county of Essex, or (iii) along the banks of the River Lea in the vicinity of Enfield lock.
§ Mr. Wakeham
There are no current petroleum licences in respect of areas in the county of Essex or any area near the River Lea in the vicinity of Enfield lock and no petroleum licences have been awarded in the past 25 years in respect of these areas. The Petroleum (Production) (Landward Areas) Regulations 1984 set out the arrangements for making applications for petroleum licences.
The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 vested the ownership of almost all coal deposits in Great Britain in the British Coal Corporation. At present the corporation also has exclusive right to search and bore for coal in Great Britain and is the licensing authority.