§ Mr. Rowlands
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of the provisional awards under the seventh round of licensing announced on 16 December 1980 and 12 March have gone (a) to British and (b) to non-British companies as defined in the first report from the Committee of Public Accounts in Session 1971–72 having regard to the proportional holding of each British and non-British company in each provisionally awarded licence; what are the comparable figures for operatorships; and how each of these percentages compares with those for the sixth round.
§ Dr. Owen
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of the companies named as operators for the provisional awards under the seventh round of licensing on the United Kingdom continental shelf, announced respectively on 12 December 1980 and 12 March 1981, is British and non-British companies; and whether the definition of British and non-British companies employed is that elicited by the Committee of Public Accounts in establishing ownership in the first report for 1971–72.
§ Mr. Gray
The Committee of Public Accounts' discussion dealt with the calculation of British equity300W holding in licences with particular reference to Shell. Taking this into account, 48 per cent. of conditional licence awards so far made in the seventh round have gone to British companies and 52 per cent. to non-British. The comparable figures for the sixth round—which include the mandatory 51 per cent. equity holding in each licence by the public sector corporations—were 67 per cent. to British companies and 33 per cent. to non-British companies. As regards figures for operatorships given below the following companies are treated as British;
- British Gas Corporation
- BP Petroleum Development Ltd.
- Cluff Oil Ltd.
- Premier Consolidated Oilfields Ltd.
- Sovereign Oil and Gas Ltd.
- Ultramar Exploration Ltd.
- The British National Oil Corporation
- Burmah Oil Exploration Ltd.
- London and Scottish Marine Oil Company Ltd.
- Shell UK Ltd.
- Tricentrol North Sea Ltd.
In the seventh round so far, 31 companies have been named for the 79 available operatorships. Ten of these companies are British and have been named for 31 operatorships. In the sixth round 19 companies were named for the 27 available operatorships. Seven of these companies were British and were named for 14 operatorships.