Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast


Originally I was going to add this to a a thread in the Piston Broke but on reflection I think this is important enough to warrent a thread in a serious forum. Obviously I defer to the mods.

Anyhoo I have a question regarding all the gas and oil in Irish waters. I was handed a leaflet on the street in front of the GPO in Dublin a few weeks ago by campaigners for shell to sea. On one side it explains what they call “the great gas giveaway” where they explain that there is a heck of a lot of oil and gas in the Irish oil field. Billions of euros worth. Billions that clearly would come in pretty handy at the moment. And yet the government has done nothing but sign over these rights for very small sums of money. Now clearly shell-to-sea have their own agenda and while I agree with their point of view I have to wonder if what they’re telling me is the unvarnished truth.

The leaflet says that according to the Petroleum Affairs Division, Dept of Communications Energy and Natural Resouces (2008) the government estimates that there is €540 billion worth of gas and oil under Irish Waters off the west coast.

Can this be true? If it is true then who on earth is the government doing so little about it. Why on earth aren’t we seeking to exploit that natural money as much as we possibly can? If we don’t have the expertise and equipment then why can’t we simply buy it on credit backed by all that oil? This seems a total no-brainer to me.

One other question. I know we signed over the rights to one field for a song a few years back but can’t remember any details. The figure in my head is €30K or so and I can’t remember what wastral politician made such a crummy deal on our behalf. A deal so bad that it screams of corruption. Was that just a single field or the whole lot of whatever might be down there?


‘We’ being Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern?


One field . Corrib, Ray Burke …before it was found. The cost of retrieving Irish oil/gas is very high and most wells are duds . There is a lot of nationalistic noise and shite on this whole issue :frowning:


its sort of like the royal “we” except in this case it means “some gobshites I didn’t vote for:wink:


Well that would go a ways towards explaining it. However the same leaflet also made the point that no other government in the world allows their oil and gas to be drilled for so little remuneration. Usually it is taxed pretty heavily. But we allow ours to be extracted tax-free. That seems like a pretty sweet deal for Shell.

And it still strikes me as selling the family silver for a song. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the figure paid for our oil and gas was €30k or so. Pretty small money I think you’ll have to agree. I find it hard to believe myself the figure was that small yet that is the figure stuck in my head so if anybody can correct me please do so. And I’ll allow that it is hard to correctly identify where oil and gas is and therefore difficult to extract at a profit. So why sell it now? Why not wait until it can be more easily located and extracted more efficiently at a better price. And then sell the rights for a better price. Methinks I detect the stink of brown enevelopes.


Please check out this link to a hot debate I participated in on this forum last September. My first post is around 3/4 down the first page.

I attempted to defuse the idea that we have and know exactly where to find billions of barrels of oil off our coast and are happily giving it away. Next time you speak to one of these Shell to sea people, bring along a map of the Irish Western and Southern coast and ask them to please pinpoint the massive oil and gas fields so that we can begin planning and drilling wells immediately.
If you need any further info please post and I will attempt to answer as best I can.


Tony O’Reilly spelled out quite clearly how the State operates in an interview with the Frobes magazine in 1983.


Statoil did surveys off the Atlantic coast in the 90s, they found lots of small pockets but no large fields that would be commercially worthwhile.


Due to the depth of the potential deposits making extraction difficult, the fact that the guesses are very much guesses as to whether we have any oil/gas or where it is, there have been very few offers by oil/gas companies wishing to look for deposits in Ireland.

It may be possible to better mitigate the risk for oil/gas companies (tax breaks, doing exploration themselves etc.) and better design the reward so that Ireland benefits if there is a bonanza (e.g. the first billion profit is yours, from then on it’s 50-50), but I am not convinced that FF have been incompetent regarding exploration rights.


don’t forget the other variant, the market price versus the exploratory costs.
when oil was $150 it’s relatively cheap to drill whereas at €50 a barrel it can become a loss making exercise.
you can ask them at what market price are the estimates they use for the potential value of any oil/gas field off the west coast.
i believe that extracting oil from the tar sands of Canada is only profitable as long as oil is above $60 so they’ve had a good run for the last few years but that may be about to end.


I remember that spat . I generally agree with OilKing .

Extracting Irish Oil and gas will become economic post peak oil when the price of oil remains at around $100 a barrel on a sustained basis . Some time in the next decade I would think . Not right now while the price of oil is $50 a barrel either.


Frank Fahey has his fingers in this business as well…then again if he didn’t I’d be very surprised knowing his antics thus far…


You’ll note here the convenience of Bertie Ahern meeting with the board of An Bord Pleanála.
If you’re in goverment and get a call from a FF councillor, TD, Minister, Táiniste, Taoiseach then you know how government in this country works.
I’ve said something along the lines of this before and it’s been disputed but I’ll say it again, most goverment employees are FF faithfuls and in essence got their jobs through knowledge of the party. That’s how it is in this country. FF governments have appointmented the boards directly of more government quangoes that I know of any other governments.
If you’re in FF and want something done, then with the right FF connnections, it can and will be done.


Anyone watch the Shell to Sea program on TV3?

They made a comparison to the opposition to rural electrification in the area to the current fiasco. Pretty accurate comparison I feel after looking at some of the yokels involved in the protests.


Watched some of it, despite it being presented by the knee jerk reactionary that is Paul Williams. I am no defender of the antics of the protesters in that area but I thought the show tried to paint a black and white picture of things, protesters bad, everybody else good. It seems to have attracted a major crackpot element to the scene but we all know that big oil companies are no saints either.

I am sure there is another thread on here that discusses this in much more detail, if you want a better education on the situation then search for that and use it as a starting point.


Oh for Christs Sake :frowning:

We TRIED the Norwegian model of taxation in the 1970s , we could do so because the THIRD well ever drilled offshore was the Kinsale field and because there was much bullishness as well as fear of OPEC back then .

After the 3rd oil shock in 1986 we had to abandon that , not a single commercial field had been developerd since Kinsale when ray Burke announced the new regime nearly 20 years back .

Since then the Seven Heads field bankrupted Ramco ( it was disovered around the early 1970s same as Kinsale) and the Corrib was the only other sizeable prospect ever discovered that was deliverable . There is a possibility in the Old Head field near Kinsale.

READ !!!

energyireland.ie/articles/ir … ration.asp

The Dooish prospect was drilled last year ( $100m pissed down a hole off Donegal ) and Bandon is being drilled now off Galway and Inishmore is being looked at also off Galway .



In 2009 there was another licencing round around Donegal , 2 applications .

dcenr.gov.ie/NR/rdonlyres/86 … DE_web.pdf

As soon as they find another Ekofisk I will change my mind , of course I will :slight_smile:


Whoa, is that Willie Corduff shouting out from under a trailer :slight_smile:

Anyway, don’t mistake my comment about the show to be a comment about the wider issue.


Thanks for the link, it was very informative.

I was listening to the maker of the program on Matt Cooper yesterday. He didn’t paint a very flattering picture of the protester “who got beaten to within an inch of his life” . Was there ever any follow up by the cops on this?


This oil company protestor independent.ie/national-news … 58793.html

was not so lucky

Where are the protestors here for these oil companies that pay nothing to the state and leave toxic sludge in the rivers, or plain for the county councils to clean up

Did Mary Lou mention “accurately” what loss there was to the state with her favourite Petro-entrepreneurs?

Shell will deduct PAYE and PRSI and pay twice the rate of corporation tax. Employment disputes could end up in the Labour court. These guys deduct knee-caps. And you though Capital Punishment was done away with!

Windymedia, write a different article


I don’t hold a flame for either side of this issue, but boy that TV3 program sucked ass.

Sunday World TV.

Stick to Coronation Street Marathons, bought In reality TV crap,
fashion/celebrity tat hosted by anorexic idiots and weather
by that folksy guy that just want to be your best buddy.

Leave the “journalism” for the grown up tv stations.




A flame will not be enough :slight_smile: to cook or heat my home when Russia engineers another row with Ukraine on 31 December. I hope it is a warm winter.

In like of the comments above I watched the programme for the first time on the TV3 site with a jaundiced eye. The Garda with Maura made me laugh out loud. That blonde Shell girl looked genuinely scared, that was not pleasant. The Shell workers can out as the most normal, glad to be living and working in their home country and county. Maura and Niall Harnett (IMHO) made themselves look foolish, and did a fair amount of the talking.

(Off topic RD, the Flickr pictures are some of the best colour pictures I have seen)

We all think, great we have gas, we are made for life! Not for long. Shell doesn’t highlight this, see page 31 of this serica-energy.com/downloads/ … 202008.pdf Serica (who are drilling the moment) presentation shows the fall off of production expected from Corrib. (Don’t know how to get the image from the PDF presentation to the posting :blush: )

So we lose our independence again (to UK, Russia?)

2Pack good links there, but the Norwegian Tax terms we mirrored were in the 1970s. Have the Norwegian changed them since?

The Norwegian State pays 78% of the cost of all non-commercial wells (we’ve had plenty). We do not. They tax profits at 80% (I think) we tax profits at 25/40% but we have not had much to tax.

regjeringen.no/en/dep/oed/Su … ?id=440538

3 years old figures I know, but in 2006 terms NOK 2,000 billon (€224 billion) had been spend on the oil exploration/development etc and just in 2006 NOK95.7 billion (€10.75 billion). My understanding is they pick up the tab for 78% of that. They also reckon they created NOK5,000 billion (€561 billion) of value. NAMA or 9 years of Norwegian style state funded exploration?

We are doing it on the cheap. Norway is at that funny Scandinavian Socialism again and spending massively to support an industry.

Forgot to declare any “interests” on the subject in last post, apart from a gas cooker and gas heating I have shares with Irish offshore interest in Royal Dutch Shell, Serica, and 2 others I have not mentioned in any postings. Capital where my mouth is and all that, support the Irish gas growers