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'Grossly misleading' of ESRI to say Corrib a panacea for Ireland’s energy needs


-- Corrib field equivalent to gas consumed in Ireland every five years --
Today’s ESRI energy review is grossly misleading in its attempt to portray the Corrib Gas project as a panacea for Ireland’s energy needs, Shell to Sea has said. Corrib’s one trillion cubic feet of gas is equivalent to the amount of gas consumed in the Republic of Ireland every five years.

Shell to Sea spokesperson and Erris resident Maura Harrington said: “The ESRI energy review reads more like a desperate attempt by the ESRI/business lobby to bolster support for the doomed Corrib gas project than an accurate reflection of Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels and the need to consider and fund renewable options.”

“Corrib will make only a small contribution to Ireland’s gas supply. The ESRI review is also misleading in its assertion that bringing Corrib ashore ‘will cost the Irish taxpayer nothing’. Firstly, it is important for people in Ireland to understand that we will pay the same price for the Irish gas in the Corrib field as we now pay for gas from Norway, thanks to Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern.”

“Secondly, the fact that the project has been so badly managed by the State means that more than €14 million has been spent on policing, in order to force through the inland refinery and high-pressure pipeline against the wishes of the local community. Bord Gais has also invested millions in a transmission pipeline from Bellanaboy to Galway. To that you can add the incalculable social and environmental costs of this disastrous project.”

Today’s ESRI review blames the State’s “regulatory failures” and “mistakes by the company involved” (p.41) for the long delay in bringing Corrib Gas ashore.

Maura Harrington said: “On this point the ESRI and Shell to Sea are agreed. Local people – and their supporters around Ireland – have never opposed gas coming ashore from Corrib. If the project had been properly regulated from the start, the gas would have come ashore years ago, using a safe methodology. The first item on the agenda would have been consultation with the local community.”


The ESRI review is available to download from this page:

Maura Harrington
Terence Conway


Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims:

1) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted.

2) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary environmental, health and safety risks.

3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery. 

*This figure is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of gas and oil in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent).

Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $79, this works out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south coast or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.