§ 10. Mr. Pounder
asked the Minister of Technology what proportion of applications at present under consideration for exploration licences in the Irish Sea involves partnership with the Coal Board and the Gas Council, respectively; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Williams
In accordance with the announced criteria all applications for production licences in the Irish Sea provide for participation by either the Gas Council or the National Coal Board. Until consideration of the applications has been completed I cannot give further details.
§ Mr. Pounder
I thank the hon. Member for correcting my Question. Can he give the House any idea when we may expect an announcement. Will it be in one month, two months, or what?
I am sure that the hon. Member will appreciate that some very complex programming discussions have to take place with the companies. It is therefore difficult to give a precise prediction of the date, but we hope that it will be soon.