Continental Shelf (Resources)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 December 1969.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam 12:00, 1 December 1969

asked the Minister of Technology what steps he proposes to take to preserve confidentiality between the oil companies and their partners on information obtained of the resources of the Continental Shelf.

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

This is entirely a matter for the companies themselves.

Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam

Lack of confidentiality between oil companies will be of concern to them and could restrict applications in the future. Is there not a problem, because different oil companies will be sharing projects with different nationalised industries under the new arrangements? Will not the partnerships raise difficulties in terms of preserving confidentiality?

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

If the hon. Gentleman means that there will be information passed to my Department as a result of this, all the nationalised industries have this information, and we get it in any case. Quite apart from the fact that the partner in the exploration is a nationalised industry, we get the information. We treat the information as highly confidential, even when only two oil companies are in partnership. We do precisely the same in the case of an oil company and a nationalised industry. No one need entertain any fear on that score.