HL Deb 03 June 1992 vol 537 cc67-8WA
Lord Harmsworth

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What stage negotiations have reached with the Netherlands Government on the transboundary Markham gas field.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Baroness Denton of Wakefield)

I am pleased to be able to inform the House that negotiation of a treaty with the Netherlands Government covering the exploitation of the Markham gas field has been concluded and that the treaty was signed in the Hague on 26th May by the British Ambassador to the Netherlands Sir Michael Jenkins, KCMG, and by the Netherlands Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. J. E. Andriessen. The treaty, which is the UK's fourth transboundary field treaty although the first with the Netherlands, will enable the field to be developed as an integrated unit. It provides for co-operation between the two governments on matters like safety, inspection, measurement, appointment of a single operator, approval of the fields development plan, abandonment, exchange of information and for the determination and apportionment of reserves. The treaty will in due course be laid before the House. In the meantime, I will place a copy of the treaty in the Library of the House.