HC Deb 04 March 1997 vol 291 cc583-4W
Sir Teddy Taylor

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if the European Union has any entitlement to exercise control or jurisdiction over the organisation of oil development and exploration and the disposal of the oil from United Kingdom waters; and if he will make a statement. [18586]

Mr. Page

The exploration for and development of the UK's oil and gas resources continue to be carried out under licences issued by the UK Government. The UK's licensing regime is required to conform with the provisions of the hydrocarbons licensing directive of 1994, which sets out common rules relating to the procedures for granting authorisations for the exploration and production of oil and gas. However, that directive also reaffirms the important principle that Member States have sovereignty and sovereign rights over hydrocarbon resources on their territories".