§ Mr. Peter Walker
I have been asked to reply.
The proportion of the price of delivered crude oil accounted for by the cost of oil company operations is known to vary greatly from country to country and from oilfield to oilfield. For some marginal fields, oil company costs account for almost the whole of delivered prices, while for some low cost fields, total oil company costs account for less than 10 per cent. of delivered prices. Detailed information on shares of production costs, company profit and taxation in different countries and oilfields is not available. Paragraph 6.3 of the Department of Energy publication, "Development of the oil and gas resources of the United Kingdom 1983", the "Brown Book", estimates that the average resource cost of producing North sea oil from fields which began production before the end of 1982 was $12 a barrel in 1982 prices. The corresponding figure for fields under development at that date was estimated to be $17 a barrel.