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18 Jul 2005 : Column 1337W—continued

Carbon Sequestration

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the potential for carbon sequestration in the Scottish sector of the North sea as defined by the Civil Jurisdiction (Offshore Activities) Order 1987. [10977]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 July 2005]: No assessment has yet been made on the potential for carbon storage in the Scottish sector of the North sea although the British Geological Survey's estimate of storage in the UK sector as a whole is 755 Giga tonnes CO 2 . More information can be found in the DTI's report Review of the Feasibility of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in the UK", published in September 2003 and available on the DTI website at


Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will reply to the letter
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dated 12 May from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan regarding his constituent Mr. J. McGee of Peterhead. [10987]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 12 July 2005]: The letter from the hon. Member was misdirected within the Department.

The letter has now been redirected to the correct officials for advice and will be responded to as soon as possible. Please accept my apologies for the delay.

Crude Oil Production

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate the Department has made of when global production of conventional crude oil will peak. [11302]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government's assessment of the remaining lifespan of global oil reserves is set out in the Energy White Paper 2003 Our energy future—creating a low carbon economy" ( Paragraph 6.15 of the White Paper notes that

This is consistent with the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its 2004 World Energy Outlook. The IEA concludes that

The Government remain committed to working with producers, consumers and the international community to improve the conditions for investment in the international oil sector, as well as implementing policies to maximise the economic recovery of the UK's own oil (and gas) reserves and to ease the UK economy away from power supplied primarily through fossil fuel supply. We are also supporting efforts to promote greater transparency in reporting of global oil reserves.

Departmental Expenditure

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the Department has spent on organising or sponsoring conferences in each of the last five years. [10247]

Alan Johnson: The Department does not maintain a central register of conferences organised or sponsored. Responsibility for such conferences rests with individual business units in DTI and therefore this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The Department is therefore unable to provide the figures requested.

Departmental Officials/Staff

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library the entry requirements for a (a) Range 3 and (b) Range 4 official in his Department. [10883]

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Alan Johnson: The entry requirements for Range 3 and Range 4 officials in my department are: a minimum of five GCSE grade C passes or above including English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent qualifications, or NVQ Business Administration level 2 or an equivalent NVQ level 2 with relevance to office work and containing an assessment or examination in English language, or at least three years' work experience in a comparable position.

This information is published in the application process each time my Department recruits for Range 3 and Range 4 officials. It can also be found, together with additional information about employment terms and conditions, on my Department's website

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many full-time equivalents have worked for the Department for each of the last five financial years for which figures are available. [11526]

Alan Johnson: I refer the hon. Member to table C of civil service statistics 2004 which is available on the internet at:

This table shows the numbers of staff by department and agency between 1998 and 2004, on a full-time equivalent basis. Copies of civil service statistics are also available in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff in each Directorate, work at least one day per week from home, broken down by grade. [10526]

Alan Johnson: Our data is limited as many flexible working patterns, including working from home, are negotiated locally. However, our staff survey shows that 78 per cent. of staff state that their managers allow working patterns including working at home to help them balance work and home life.

The department introduced a flexible working policy in 2002, including full guidance for managers and staff to ensure that new ways of working (including home working) are available to all individuals in all Directorates and all grades, and that the benefits to stakeholders, customers, managers and staff are maximised.

Energy Security

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his policy is on energy security. [11580]

Malcolm Wicks: Maintaining reliable supplies of energy is one of four main goals of energy policy set out in the Energy White Paper, published in February of last year.

The White Paper re-affirmed our commitment to a market-based system for maintaining security of supply. It also stated that the Government will not intervene in the market except in extreme circumstances, such as to avert, as a last resort, a potentially serious risk to safety.
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Under section 172 of the Energy Act 2004, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is required to report annually to Parliament on security of supply. The first report will be published later this month.

Export Control Organisation

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry with which private sector organisations ASE Consulting held exploratory discussions in relation to the business opportunity in running the Export Control Organisation. [11307]

Malcolm Wicks: ASE Consulting approached three organisations and held discussions with two. The Department does not hold information on which parties were approached.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2005, Official Report, column 54W, on the Export Control Organisation, which external organisations provided a view on an informal basis. [11615]

Malcolm Wicks: Informal discussions in relation to the Review were held with representatives from the Defence Manufacturer's Association, the Export Group for Aerospace and Defence and BAE Systems.

Hiatt Handcuffs

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether Hiatt handcuffs have any current export licences for oversize handcuffs to (a) the US and (b) elsewhere. [10856]

Malcolm Wicks: This is commercially confidential information and as such is exempt from disclosure. Summary information on the goods licensed to each destination is however published in the Government's Annual and Quarterly Reports on Strategic Export Controls which are available from the Libraries of the House and the Export Control Organisation website respectively. The goods summary in question is handcuffs".

Particular scrutiny is given to every application to export oversized handcuffs to assess the risk of there being use as leg irons.

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