HC Deb 25 June 1998 vol 314 cc603-4W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest oil exploration around the Falkland Islands; and who will be eligible to receive royalties from oil found in this area. [47433]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

Exploratory drilling in the North Falkland Basin started on 27 April 1998 when Amerada Hess drilled the first well. On 27 May they announced they had abandoned this well, stating that although the well had encountered traces of hydrocarbons, nothing further had been found. Lasmo are now in the process of drilling the second well. It is far too early to make any prediction about finding oil in commercial quantities.

Any oil revenues will accrue to the Falkland Islands Government. I discussed some revenue sharing, should oil be found, with the Falkland Islands Councillors during a visit to the Islands in April. I welcomed their generous offer made in 1994 to share revenues from oil production with HMG and we agreed that we should now discuss this in a spirit of co-operation and partnership.

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