Oral Answers to Questions — Offshore Oil (Production Platforms)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1976.

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Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn , Bristol South East 12:00 am, 3rd May 1976

As usual, the hon. Gentleman has got it wrong. The Government are not dithering at all. Each of the platforms costs about £150 million, and the ordering of them is for the companies. We have been in continual contact with them and the construction companies. I personally got in touch with all the oil companies last summer and my hon. Friend the former Minister of State took this up again. There are technical factors in the shift from steel to concrete. Studies are taking place to see whether the fields can be drained with fewer platforms, because of the cost involved. It is wholly false to imply that the Government are responsible for the present difficult position and its employment implications.