Independent Media Centre Ireland

Multi Billion gas/oil rippoff. The Dunquinn fields

category kerry | miscellaneous | news report author Monday December 04, 2006 23:51author by david grey - Green Party- Kerryauthor email davidgrey at greenparty dot ie

Irish resources given to "business buddies"

The present government has given away billions possibly trillions of Euro of gas/oil reserves which could have benefited the Irish public coffers.I will refer to the reserves given away to Businessman Tony O'Reilly off the coast of Kerry.

The Dunquinn gas and oil reserves in the north and south Dunquinn fields in the Porcupine basin (125 miles off the Kerry coast) contain according to Tony O’Reilly’s providence resources approximately 4 billiion barrels of oil and 25 trillion cubic ft of natural gas, this has a market value in my estimation of in excess of €250 Billion.

Bearing in mind that the government gave this away for €1 to Tony O’Reilly’s Providence resources leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions.
The government maintain that they have no expertise at deep well drilling and exploration, yet they gave the rights to a company who had to seek assistance from Exxon Mobil and Sosina in order to realise the massive potential of these fields, in fact Tony O’Reilly’s Providence now have a 16% stake in all profits from these fields while Exxon Mobil take all the risks, a good return on a €1 stake while providence can sit back and count the profits when the fields are up and going! Providence have put the costs of setting up a platform and commencement of drilling at €50 million, small change when the potential profits are taken into consideration.

Bearing this in mind it is mind boggling to me why the government does not hold onto these resources, they are being given away willy nilly all over our coast, the government say they don’t have the expertise, yet when Norway found similar resources they set up a state oil company (Statoil), which is pumping billions into the state coffers, imagine how a fraction of the profits of just one of our nations oil/gas fields could be put to use in hospital services, education, social services, transport etc. very little will flow into Irish coffers from the exploitation by Exxon Mobil.

With peak oil expected to be from 5 to 15 years away it is my opinion that the government should have held ALL of our resources in state ownership until then, deep sea drilling technology is improving year by year, the government could well have secured our nations financial future by refraining from a giveaway to Media Moguls and multi nationals.

When the cost of these “giveaways” is counted I believe it will be a multi billion euro slap in the face to the Irish people, indeed the miss management of our economy with billions already wasted in over spends, computer voting and downright incompetence needs to be highlighted also.

To conclude I would like to commend the work of the shell to sea campaign, the disrespectful way people are being treated in Mayo is only the start, if we let the current government and multi nationals trample over the rights of local people to live a quiet, safe and productive life, we cannot allow the state to be used as a battering ram for big business, with the law abiding public at risk of being at the wrong end of a Garda baton, simply for peacefully standing up for their rights!

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