Offshore Industry

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 1st November 2010.

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Photo of Mark Williams Mark Williams Liberal Democrat, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to complete the further assessments on the offshore oil and gas leasing of blocks in (a) Cardigan Bay and (b) the Moray Firth.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

An environmental assessment of the potential impact of oil and gas licensing in Cardigan Bay was carried out in 2007. The assessment concluded that oil and gas licensing should not proceed at that time. The applications for a petroleum licence received during the 24(th) licensing round for three blocks in Cardigan Bay have been withdrawn. No applications were received during the 25(th) and 26(th) licensing rounds for blocks in Cardigan Bay. There are no further assessments planned at this time.

With regard to the inner Moray Firth, a revised environmental assessment in relation to an application for a petroleum licence for block 17/3 was issued for public consultation from 15 July to 12 October 2010. Officials are carefully considering the comments received during the public consultation and therefore I am not yet in a position to reach a decision concerning licensing of this block.

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