§ Mr. Hanley
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on his responsibility for the Oil and Pipelines Agency.
§ Mr. Wakeham
Following the Government's decision to cease taking royalty in kind from 31 December 1988, the work of the Oil and Pipelines Agency has been progressively wound up and its only remaining role is that of managing agent for the Government pipeline and storage system (GPSS). In accordance with the decision announced by my predecessor in October last year responsibility for the GPSS was transferred from the Department of Energy to the Ministry of Defence on 1 April 1989. The Ministry of Defence has decided to retain the Oil and Pipelines Agency as managing agent for the GPSS and responsibility for the agency is therefore being transferred today with the approval of my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Defence.