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Written Parliamentary Questions: 18th July 2006

Energy
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in which year the Government expect the UK to be a net importer of energy. (John Hemming)
A:Data on net imports of primary fuel are published in the annual Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics. Table 1.1.3 in the 2005 edition shows that, having been a net exporter of primary energy since 1993, the UK became a net importer of primary energy in 2004. (Malcolm Wicks, Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry)

Global Oil Production
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in which year the Government expect (a) global conventional oil production and (b) global total oil production to peak; and what the Government expect to be the level of peak global oil production.(John Hemming)
A:The Government consider that the world's oil resources are sufficient to prevent global total oil production peaking before 2030, by which time the International Energy Agency's reference case scenario in its 2005 World Energy Outlook shows global oil demand reaching 115.4 million barrel per day, nearly 40 per cent. higher than current levels. The exact levels and years of the peaks in global conventional and total oil production will depend on assumptions about a number of factors, including the rate of global oil demand growth, the rate of investment in the global oil sector, and technological developments in finding and producing oil.

Market mechanisms will ration the remaining global supplies of oil and provide the incentive for a shift to alternative sources of energy. This process needs to be supported by Governments. The UK Government are already putting in place policies that will help ease the UK economy away from power supplied primarily through fossil fuels and is also promoting international efforts, for example through the G8 Gleneagles Plan of Action, to develop cleaner energy technologies and promote energy efficiency. (Malcolm Wicks, Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry)

Oil Imports
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Government's latest estimate is of when the UK will become a net importer of oil.
(John Hemming)
A:In 2005 the UK became a net importer of crude oil (including Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and feedstocks), on an annual volume basis, for the first time since 1992. However, net exports of refined oil products meant that the UK remained a net exporter of overall oil (crude, NGLs, feedstocks, and refined products). Details are given in tables 3.1 and 3.2 of the June 2006 version of UK Energy Trends available at http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/statistics/publications/trends/index.html.

With the large Buzzard Field due on-stream in late 2006, the UK should return to being a net exporter of crude oil (including NGLs and feedstocks) by 2007 before becoming a net importer on a sustained annual basis by 2010.(Malcolm Wicks, Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry)

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