HC Deb 24 June 1997 vol 296 cc481-2W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what procedures are in place to ensure that proposals for future oil extraction in the Atlantic are compatible with the requirements of the European Habitats directive. [4727]

Angela Eagle

The DTI carries out a full consultation with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee before offering any licences for oil extraction. Indeed, as a result of advice received from JNCC on the 17th licensing round that the Flannan Isles could be affected by certain blocks of licences, DTI withdrew those blocks from the round. Offers of licences are usually conditional upon the acceptance of special conditions to protect environmental sensitivities and the interests of users of the sea. This process is analogous to the requirements of article 6(2) and 6(3) of the Habitats Directive.