Posted on 24.06.2007 - 07:35 EDT in OFFSHORE NEWS by ginamc
Officials expect the report to be on Lord Truscott's desk before parliament breaks up for the summer recess.
Last night the minister told MPs that only technical decisions remain to be taken by the taskforce of which he is chairman.
He was giving evidence to the Commons trade and industry committee on the Government's energy white paper.
Lord Truscott revealed more data was needed before final decisions can be taken on the drive to persuade potential developers with finds west of Shetland to cooperate setting up a pipeline system which he said had reached a "technical" level. He told SNP trade and industry spokesman Mike Weir, MP for Angus, that "there are potentially vast reserves west of Shetland" and said it was in the national interest to maximise extraction to reduce future dependence on gas imports.
The minister denied taxation offshore, with a surcharge imposed on top of ordinary taxes, was having an impact on development decisions. Taskforce members include BP, Total, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Dong as well as DTI oil and gas division officials.