§ Mr. David Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of the date at which North sea oil production will peak and of the earliest date when North sea production levels will drop below net United Kingdom oil consumption.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Current forecasts indicate that oil production from the United Kingdom continental shelf is likely to peak during the next two years. On present trends, the United Kingdom will remain net self-sufficient in oil at least until the early years of the next decade but226W the uncertainties make it impossible to give a meaningful forecast. We expect that the fiscal concessions to the oil industry will encourage new development which will help extend the period of net self-sufficiency.