€1,600 billion. That is the figure for Irish Oil & Gas reserves already licensed revealed this morning in a detailed report from Shell to Sea using the energy corporations own reports and estimates. People in Ireland will see almost no benefits from this incredible wealth because the Irish state gives these reserves to the corporations at the cheapest terms in the world.
According to Dublin Shell to Sea "The figure is contained in a groundbreaking new report that reveals a more complete picture of the extent of exploration in Irish territory and exposes the State’s failure to effectively manage Ireland’s natural resources. By trawling through figures published by oil exploration companies, researchers compiled companies' estimates for a total of 69 different discoveries, “prospects” and other areas licensed for oil and gas exploration. The combined total of those company estimates is 20,964 million barrels of oil equivalent (of oil or gas), worth €1,600 billion at today’s prices. The research is presented in the form of a map and tables in a major new guide to the issues, ‘Liquid Assets’.
Speaking for Dublin Shell to Sea Criostoir MacCuirc said: “The Government and oil industry defend Ireland’s giveaway licensing terms by claiming that Ireland is an ‘unproven territory’, where exploration is minimal. This painstaking new research tells a different story. While it is important to note that oil companies may talk up their prospects to attract investors, on the other hand this figure is conservative, in that it only includes areas that have been licensed and for which estimates exist.These are already licensed to private companies, who will own and control all of the oil and gas they contain.”
The envirnomental concerns at extracting such huge quantities of fossil fuels are discussed in the report. UCD academic and Afri chairperson Dr Andy Storey said at this mornings launch in Buswell's hotel that: “This report makes the valuable point that leaving the resources in the hands of private corporations gets us nowhere – we need to assume public ownership of these resources and then decide, democratically, how, if at all, they are to be made use of.”
WORDS: Andrew Flood Follow me on Twitter
You can download the following documents here: