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 Post subject: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:20 am 
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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?

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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:22 am 
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Bigby wrote:

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?


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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:26 am 
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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 :(

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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:28 am 
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Coles2 wrote:
'We' being Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern?


its sort of like the royal "we" except in this case it means "some gobshites I didn't vote for" ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:32 am 
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2Pack wrote:
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 :(

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:44 am 
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Bigby wrote:
2Pack wrote:
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 :(

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.


Bigby,
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.
http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=13259&start=0

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.
Regards.
Oilking.

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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:49 am 
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Tony O'Reilly spelled out quite clearly how the State operates in an interview with the Frobes magazine in 1983.

Sir Anto wrote:
"Since I own 35 percent of the newspapers in Ireland I have close contact with the politicians. I got the blocks he (the geologist) wanted."


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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 11:02 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 11:10 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Oil and Gas fields off the Irish Coast
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 2:27 pm 
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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.

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