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News release: Rabbitte shows ‘contempt for democracy’ by issuing licensing options

News release - Issued by Shell to Sea - Monday, October 17th, 2011




-- More exploration will not lead to greater benefits to Ireland -- 


Minister Pat Rabbitte has shown a “bare-faced contempt for democracy” by deciding to offer licensing options to explore for oil and gas in Ireland’s Atlantic territory, according to the Shell to Sea campaign. 


Mr Rabbitte has ignored an ongoing Joint Oireachtas Committee review of Ireland’s licensing system. 


Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington said: “By stubbornly insisting on pressing ahead with these licensing options without waiting for the outcome of the Oireachtas review, Rabbitte is displaying a bare-faced contempt for democracy.” 


“It is shocking to witness the extent to which Pat Rabbitte has signed up to the oil industry’s line about the need for ‘generous’ terms for oil companies. He appears to have come under undue pressure from his civil servants to rush ahead with this latest giveaway.” 


“Unfortunately, increased exploration will not lead to any significant benefits for Ireland. Under Ireland’s bizarre terms, companies involved in this round will have the choice of either exporting these Irish resources or else selling them to Irish consumers at the full international market rate. The State’s take from any revenue generated is likely to be extremely low.” 


The licensing options issued today cover the acreage identified by oil companies as most likely to yield valuable resources. Any oil or gas found by the 12 companies awarded licences today can be extracted and exported under the giveaway terms introduced by Ray Burke 20 years ago. 


Recent research has revealed that companies exploring in Irish waters intend to export Irish resources directly from the field without bringing them ashore in Ireland. This means that the exploration would not result in any onshore jobs or infrastructure or in any supply to the Irish market. [1]


It has also been revealed that, because of the extraordinarily generous tax write-offs allowed under Irelands’ terms, the State’s share of the revenue from a gas field in Irish waters could be less than 7%. [2]





1. ‘Oil companies plan to export directly from Irish oil fields’


2. ‘Ireland’s share of revenue from its gas fields could be as low as 7%, report shows’’s-tax-‘take’-from-gas-fields-could-be-as-low-as-7-per-cen/





Maura Harrington                        087 9591474   !/ShellToSea



The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:


1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks.


2) 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.


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.