§ Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has reached any further participation agreement.
§ Dr. J. Dickson Mabon,
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 21st December 1976; Vol. 923, c. 123], gave the following further information:
In implementation of Her Majesty's Government's policy of securing majority State participation, Her Majesty's Government and the British National Oil Corporation (BNOC) have today concluded a memorandum of principles with Murphy Petroleum Limited and Ocean Exploration Co. Limited on the principles governing majority State participation in the companies' interests in the Ninian field and related facilities in the North Sea. All parties intend to conclude a definitive legal agreement embodying these principles as soon as possible.
The memorandum provides for BNOC to have access after a build-up period to up to 51 per cent. of Murphy and Ocean's oil from the Ninian field at market price with the companies having certain repurchase rights. There will be full consultations between Her Majesty's Government, advised by BNOC under Section 3(3) of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975, and Murphy and Ocean on matters of common interest.
It is the intention of the parties that, subject to the consent of the Ninian partners, BNOC should, through these participation arrangements, gain an effective voice and vote in the committees managing field operations.