Saturday's International Herald Tribune carried a reuters report on the interest of the energy companies to snap up licences to drill off the west coast of Ireland: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/24/ ... ireoil.php
Quote: A study commissioned by the Irish government said early data showed potential reserves of 10 billion barrels of oil off Ireland's Atlantic coast.
Patrick Shannon, a professor of geology at University College Dublin, said while no oil discoveries had yet been made around the Atlantic margin, tests showed it might lack sulfur, making it easy to refine and more valuable.
"Everybody wants a Brent crude or a West Texas type crude, and the Irish crude oil - certainly in the Atlantic margin - is of that quality," Shannon said. "We know there is a petroleum system, we don't know its extent."
The article painted a somewhat incomplete picture of the generous tax and royalty regime in Ireland:
Quote: Exploration companies pay a 25 percent tax in Ireland, which rises to 40 percent for the most profitable finds - lower than the 50 percent rate in the United Kingdom, 78 percent in Norway and over 80 percent levied in other regions.
Perhaps the journalist was unaware that exploration and "development" costs can be written off against tax, and the higher charges (40%) don't apply to fields like Corrib which were licensed before 2007. The Royalty rate in Ireland is set at zero, which means that whatever you find in your licensed area belongs to you in its entirety, so all you have to pay is corporation tax on profits.
Can anyone from the political parties which support these generous terms explain why ordinary people who live in Ireland won't see any benefit? Yesterdays's Sunday Independent Newspaper carried a story showing that the price of gas will rise by 15 per cent after Corrib comes on stream.
That's gas -- bills up 15% after Corrib field opens
By MAEVE SHEEHAN
Sunday August 24 2008
ONCE gas production comes on stream from the Corrib Gas fields off Belmullet, Co Mayo, next year the price of gas to Irish users is set to shoot up by 15 per cent.
Consumers are already facing a 20 per cent increase in gas bills from September. However, an internal memo from the energy regulator warns that the price will soar even higher once production starts at the Corrib gas fields next winter.
article continues:http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/...eoil.php<br />
You'd think with all the benefits going to the energy companies, and all the drawbacks going to ordinary consumers, then the least they could do is exploit the reserves safely, but you'd be wrong...