Oil Supplies

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th June 1979.

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Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford 12:00 am, 11th June 1979

North Sea oil is traded internationally and commercially, and contracts are entered into. As I said, I take the view that the balance is not entirely right. I have looked at the structure of the oil industry, including the very over-extended State oil apparatus which our predecessors deemed to be right but which I personally question, to see in what way we can change the balance—as I said in my statement—in a way consistent with our commercial requirements and interests, our international interests and the need for security of supply. If we are concerned with the national interest and the interests of the British people, including the Scottish people, it is a change in this area that is required. That is something that I and the Government are rapidly setting about doing at present.