|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) open individual export licences were issued and (b) open individual export licences issued with a validity period of (i) two years, (ii) three years, (iii) five years and (iv) more than five years by the Government was in the periods (A) January to March 2004, (B) April to June 2004, (C)June to September 2004, (D) October to December 2004, (E) January to March 2005, (F) April to June 2005 and (G) July to September 2005. 
|Period||Total number of OIELs issued||1 year||2 years||3 years||4 years||5 years||More than|
|January to March||109||0||77||30||0||2||0|
|April to June||126||0||95||29||0||2||0|
|June to September||140||0||97||41||0||1||0|
|October to December||143||3||84||16||0||40||0|
|January to March||109||3||33||6||1||66||0|
|April to June||146||5||36||5||0||99||1|
|July to September||126||1||26||6||0||93||0|
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government proposes to take at the World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong to ensure a fair deal for the world's poorest farmers; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The most recent data on the level of fuel poverty in England corresponds to 2003 and was published in July 2005 in the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy Third Annual Progress Report. This data, sourced from the English House Condition Survey, showed that the number of fuel poor households in England in 2003 was around 1.2 million.
The most recent data on the level of fuel poverty in Wales corresponds to 2004. This data, which has recently become available from the Living in Wales Survey, showed that the number of fuel poor households in Wales in 2004 was around 130,000 households.
We are unable to provide a breakdown of the number of households in fuel poverty by individual towns, however detailed regional data is available from the 2003 English House Condition Survey as follows:
|Government office region||Households in fuel poverty|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||180,000|
Production of associated gas" from the mixed oil and gas fields located principally in the northern and central North Sea has varied over time for a number of reasons. The rate of production is affected by contractual nominations, by planned and unplanned maintenance, by the effect of investment in new production or injection wells or well workovers in
9 Jan 2006 : Column 288W
existing fields, by the effect of past production reducing reservoir pressure in existing fields and by the effect of new fields coming into production. Total associated gas production from the UK continental shelf peaked in 2002 and has since declined. Production from new fields coming on-stream has not matched the decline in production from existing fields, though there have been significant changes from month to month. Production in August 2005 was particularly low, with reduced deliveries at all four of the main coastal landing terminals (CATS, FLAGS, SAGE and SEAL), but by October production was back close to the level of a year earlier.
Malcolm Wicks: Producers of oil and gas have commercial incentives to produce gas, whether that is dry gas" from the gas fields found principally in the southern basin of the north sea and in the Irish sea or associated gas" from the mixed oil and gas fields located principally in the northern and central north sea. The rate of production can be affected by contractual nominations, by planned and unplanned maintenance and by the effect of investment in new production, in injection wells or in well workovers.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to compensate industrial users of natural gas in the event of a need to reduce offtake during high demand periods in the winter. 
Malcolm Wicks: Where the industrial customer has an interruptible contract (either for their gas transportation and/or shipping/supplies) they are compensated for potentially being interrupted a number of days a year by paying a lower bill. Some customers may decide to reduce their gas demand to enable their shippers to sell the gas they would otherwise have consumed back to the market. This is known as demand side response. It is for the customer and the shipper to strike a contract in a way that ensures the appropriate transfer of money from the shipper to the customer. However, where a customer has opted not to buy gas, because they assess it is commercially unviable to do so in respect of their particular industrial process, there is no provision for direct compensation for that reduction in gas usage.
Other than for commercial reasons as described above, interruption of gas supplies to industrial consumers is only otherwise undertaken by the relevant network operators as part of a gas emergency, as a safety measure in order to protect the general public. In this situation there are no provisions for compensation.
UK industrial users are of course free to contract with gas shippers to source supplies directly from Europe within the physical constraints of current gas import infrastructure. I recently met
9 Jan 2006 : Column 289W
capacity holders at the Isle of Grain LNG terminal and on the interconnector to ensure that this capacity is well utilised.
Flows of gas through the Interconnector have not been close to its expanded capacity. We are asking the European Commission to establish why there has not been more gas available to import through the Interconnector, given the large price differential. In addition, we continue to pressure the European Commission. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry have written to the Commission about this, and I used our UK Presidency to push this in the Energy Council. Ofgem also sent a delegation to Madrid earlier this month to investigate Spanish provisions for the importation of LNG.
Malcolm Wicks: Both of the companies that own rights to the import capacity at the Isle of Grain LNG facility have reassured me that they have booked cargoes that will fill, or nearly fill, all the available slots throughout the winter. They are working on filling the remaining slots. Ofgem is taking forward work to make sure the Use It Or Lose It" regime at the facility is working effectively, so that any slots not used by the primary capacity holders will be made available to others who might use it. National Grid's website shows that gas has been flowing from the Isle of Grain facility onto the gas networks at or close to capacity over most of the past two weeks.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|