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Corrib Gas Field - Property of the Irish People?


Abaddon

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Hi all,

I am a bit confused with regard to this. Could somebody explain to me why the state and the Irish public not the sole owners of Corrib Gas Field? I find it hard to believe that this country has no rights or has given away its right to this natural resource off our coast. Could somebody enlighten me?
 

Gladstone

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A corrupt FF minister called Ray Burke singed a deal with them in the 80s thats why.
 

Abaddon

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If there is a question about the legality of this deal that Ray Burke and Charles Haughey worked out with Shell and Statoil should there not be an investigation into it, considering the shady backgrounds of Burke and Haughey? I mean it's just doesn't seem possible that they would have given away billions for nothing?
 

Gladstone

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Im not sure about a state exploration company that would cost an absolute fortune!
But we should at least be getting royalites, at the moment we get ZERO from this.
 

ibis

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He may have been corrupt, but he was doing no more than following what was then conventional wisdom regarding the possibilities of oil and gas off the west coast.

It was generally accepted at that time that there was very little likelihood of an economically viable discovery. At the time the only dissenting voice was a bloke called Pat Shannon (now UCD), but certainly the Petroleum Affairs Division had no reason to believe they were selling anything other than dry rock for a reasonable sum of money.

In the intervening 20 years, geology, and offshore drilling technology, has moved on quite a lot, and the deepwater fields off the west coast are a genuine prospect.

I don't think this one is down to corruption - it was a combination of conventional wisdom, lack of vision, and naivete.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Abaddon said:
Hi all,

I am a bit confused with regard to this. Could somebody explain to me why the state and the Irish public not the sole owners of Corrib Gas Field? I find it hard to believe that this country has no rights or has given away its right to this natural resource off our coast. Could somebody enlighten me?

There's no point in us owning it as such, as we wouldn't have the ability to extract the resources - therefore the rights have to be sold off to an international exploration company such as Shell. The question is whether our government got a good deal when they sold the exploration rights - and the answer would seem to be "no".
 

eurocrat

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Gladstone said:
Im not sure about a state exploration company that would cost an absolute fortune!
But we should at least be getting royalites, at the moment we get ZERO from this.
Well we are getting a suply of Gas... eventually.

Essentially this is an argument between Nationalisation and Privitisation. Back in the 80's it was thoguht that Gas exploation in Ireland could only be achived by private companies with strong incentitives.

I think that still is the feeling today in Government. Ireland needs a good, clean supply of engergy over the coming years. The days of buring truf in Westmeath have to end.

If that supply can only be ensured by private companies, then I guess we will just have to live with it.
 

Gladstone

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Like I said state expploration would cost a fortune and we don't have the experts.

We should be getting royalities ala Norway tho.
 

ibis

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Unfortunately, as in so many things, we followed the UK model. They get startlingly little from the North Sea.

The Norwegians had the cojones to say "only on our terms".
 

eurocrat

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Gladstone said:
Like I said state expploration would cost a fortune and we don't have the experts.

We should be getting royalities ala Norway tho.
But prehaps, if we had inssited on the Norwegian style royalties Shell would have refused to begin exploation. Obviously I cannote speak on behalf of Shell - just saying what the thinking behind the decision was.
Ireland does not have the History of Norway when it come to Gas and Oil Exploration. Plus, we need the energy quickly.
 

Abaddon

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ibis said:
Unfortunately, as in so many things, we followed the UK model. They get startlingly little from the North Sea.

The Norwegians had the cojones to say "only on our terms".
I doubt very much that the public gave the government of the time permission to give it away, whatever the expense it would have cost the gas field still would have paid for itself over a number of years.

If this is such a bad deal and the facts regarding this deal are questionable, could the Irish government not now say "only on our terms" also, after all this gas field is still in Irish waters.
 

Engels

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eurocrat said:
Gladstone said:
Im not sure about a state exploration company that would cost an absolute fortune!
But we should at least be getting royalites, at the moment we get ZERO from this.
Well we are getting a suply of Gas... eventually.

Essentially this is an argument between Nationalisation and Privitisation. Back in the 80's it was thoguht that Gas exploation in Ireland could only be achived by private companies with strong incentitives.

I think that still is the feeling today in Government. Ireland needs a good, clean supply of engergy over the coming years. The days of buring truf in Westmeath have to end.

If that supply can only be ensured by private companies, then I guess we will just have to live with it.
There is no evidence to suggest that ONLY a private company can provide a clean supply of energy, a state compnay could provide the same function - surely? The fact it hasn't happened is not an incapability of the state to do so, it is a lack of political will. This government is attempting to lessen state involvement in most fileds, health, education, etc etc so they have no intention of establishing a state exploration company though they should - the Corrib issue would never have arisen if this was the case.
 

Pidge

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Engels said:
There is no evidence to suggest that ONLY a private company can provide a clean supply of energy, a state compnay could provide the same function - surely? The fact it hasn't happened is not an incapability of the state to do so, it is a lack of political will. This government is attempting to lessen state involvement in most fileds, health, education, etc etc so they have no intention of establishing a state exploration company though they should - the Corrib issue would never have arisen if this was the case.
The difficulty lies in exploration. There is evidence to suggest that ONLY a private company could reasonably search for fossil fuels, considering that the huge speculative costs could only realistically be offset by a huge private company.
 

eurocrat

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Gladstone said:
I hate the "dont' do anything to piss off the multinational" argument.
Welcome to Ireland 2006. :)

It not just about not 'pissing them off' but actually about encouraging them to set up and prosper.

For example, there is a huge difference between the arguemnet that mulitnationals would leave Ireland if we fustrated America by not allowing the Shannon Stopover and the argument that raising corpataion tax would cause them to leave.
 

Gladstone

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Pidge you've become so deliciously right wing you should join the PDs, or FG when the PDs sink.

But the point about exploration is valid it would cost a fortune, and when what if we didn't find anything??

We should get royalites from whatever is found tho, it was a bad deal Burke signed.
 

Gladstone

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eurocrat said:
Gladstone said:
I hate the "dont' do anything to piss off the multinational" argument.
Welcome to Ireland 2006. :)

It not just about not 'pissing them off' but actually about encouraging them to set up and prosper.

For example, there is a huge difference between the arguemnet that mulitnationals would leave Ireland if we fustrated America by not allowing the Shannon Stopover and the argument that raising corpataion tax would cause them to leave.
I actually beleive strongly in the 12.5% corporation tax rate, I'm talking about royalites from gas and oil thats found.
 

Engels

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Pidge said:
Engels said:
There is no evidence to suggest that ONLY a private company can provide a clean supply of energy, a state compnay could provide the same function - surely? The fact it hasn't happened is not an incapability of the state to do so, it is a lack of political will. This government is attempting to lessen state involvement in most fileds, health, education, etc etc so they have no intention of establishing a state exploration company though they should - the Corrib issue would never have arisen if this was the case.
The difficulty lies in exploration. There is evidence to suggest that ONLY a private company could reasonably search for fossil fuels, considering that the huge speculative costs could only realistically be offset by a huge private company.
I'm not sure (I'm no expert) that that applies to the corrib gas field which it is known there is gas although they don't probably know how much.

Surely the point of private industry is to make money, so despite the "huge speculative costs" their return must be substantial to make it worth their while. I don't see why a state company can't do the same.
 

Pax

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Abaddon said:
Hi all,

I am a bit confused with regard to this. Could somebody explain to me why the state and the Irish public not the sole owners of Corrib Gas Field? I find it hard to believe that this country has no rights or has given away its right to this natural resource off our coast. Could somebody enlighten me?

Some astounding excerpts below on Haughey and Burke’s corrupt antics and how Ireland ‘develops’ the BMW region by giving it’s resources over to Norway’s social services and Shell shareholders. It's just unbelievable :?

See
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74215

At the Maxwell lecture theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College on February the 9th, Eamon Dunphy together with Micheal O Sheigin of the Rossport Five was addressing an audience in advance of the Five's expected appearance in court today.

Dunphy said he believed that what Charles Haughey and Ray Burke had done in relation to this issue amounted to treason.

Against all the rules of public administration, they had met in secret, (i.e. without any other government representative present), with oil company representatives and had concluded a deal the details of which are still not known to this day. What is known is that the Irish people have no rights whatever to their own natural resources as a result of that deal.

What is also certain is that on the very same day in January 1993 that subsequent legislation governing the issuing of exploration licences came into force, Enterprise Ireland applied for a license for the exploration of the Corrib field. Statoil, also on the same day, applied for four exploration licences. What amazing foresight they must have had - or perhaps they knew something the rest of us did not?

And a good post here
We are offering carrots to well fed donkeys!

Between 1966 and 1969 thirty-one dry holes at a cost of NOK 850 million were drilled by the Norwegians, without any significant find. They started with an old whaling ship and a derrick. The industry was becoming despondent and on the verge of packing up.

Leading up to Christmas1969 the miracle happened, Philips Petroleum’s drilling rig the “Ocean Viking” struck a massive oil and gas field some 220kms from the town of Stavanger. The Norwegians now have close to €100Bn in a sinking fund, or retirement fund or whatever one wants to call it; all from the proceeds of oil and gas. What the hell are we arguing about? Those who speculate, accumulate!

What we need is a government with guts, a little fiscal/tax engineering and citizens will rush in an invest their surplus wealth. We have the Kinsale Field, Seven Heads Field, Corrib Gas Field. Tell me, how many more drips, drips, drips do we need to grow up and realise that there is liquid gold out there? Wealth that can secure the future for us Irish Citizens. The one major problem is that it needs investment on the Western Seaboard and no existing Dublin Government (includes the opposition) can see beyond the Pale. The fact that we could earn billions is jaundiced and coloured by the fact that investment will have to be diverted from Dublin! Remember the fishing industry when the Spanish fished Two Billion Euro a year off our shores through out the 20th Century! Dublin Political Parties will have to begin to start seeing beyond their noses if we are to profitably exploit our Hydrocarbons.

And see the Irish Times article Fintan O'Toole on Statoil and FF's Corrib Shame


…. In an almost comically absurd expression of our addiction to misgovernment, we will buy our own gas at commercial rates from, among others, the Norwegian people. Last year, 67 per cent of Statoil's profits were taken by the state in the form of taxes, boosting the exchequer in Oslo by around €5.7 billion.

If these tax rates continue to apply, that means that for every €100 worth of profit that is made from Irish people buying our own Corrib gas over the next 15 years or so, around €17 will go into the Norwegian exchequer. Most of it, presumably, will go into the vast Government Petroleum Fund, which the Norwegian state is storing up against the day when its own oil runs out. So Irish gas will be helping to pay the pensions of Sami deer-herders in Lapland in 2050.

While Irish kids take trips to see Santa Claus in Lapland, the Laps will be writing letters to Santa in Ireland….
 
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