§ Mr. Clifton-Brown
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will indicate the level of exploration drilling on the United Kingdom continental shelf last year and the number of those wells successful in locating hydrocarbons; and if he will make a statement on the trend revealed.
§ Mr. Eggar
Fifty-one exploration wells were drilled last year, a figure lower than in recent years but still comparing favourably with the late 1970s and early 1980s when levels were lower. Thirteen significant discoveries were made in 1993, giving a one in four success rate. The average since exploration began in 1964 is about one in 4.5.