Continental Shelf (Exploration and Development)

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

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Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West 12:00, 1 December 1969

asked the Minister of Technology what is the estimated expenditure on Continental Shelf exploration and development by the National Coal Board and the Gas Council, respectively, in each of the next five years.

Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn , Bristol South East

Over the next five years the estimates made by the two industries of average expenditure under current licences and in respect of known discoveries are: Gas Council about £5 million a year and the National Coal Board about £4 million a year.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

Can the Minister say what proportion of that will be spent by Gas Council Exploration Ltd. or by any of its other subsidiaries?

Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn , Bristol South East

I cannot specifically answer that question. I should draw attention to the fact that I am referring to current licences and known discoveries. This does not cover forecast expenditure under future licences. But I will consider whether I can give a more satisfactory answer.