Skip to main content

Shell to Sea launch €540 Billion election note

Press Release Issued by Dublin Shell to Sea -11/03/11

At 2.00pm on Saturday 12th February, members of Dublin Shell to Sea will gather at the top of Grafton Street to distribute €540 billion ‘commemorative bank notes’ to members of the public, symbolising the cost to the exchequer of the extraordinary giveaway of Ireland’s oil and gas reserves.

The commemorative notes, mocked up to look like Euro bank notes (see attached), contain information for voters in the forthcoming general election on the infamous Ray Burke deal, which resulted in the State handing over control of its oil and gas reserves to multinational oil corporations. In addition, there is a short list of suggested questions that voters can put to general election candidates in relation to both the giveaway and the planning process for the Corrib gas field. 

Speaking ahead of the event, Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson, Caoimhe Kerins said ‘The general election campaign is being fought against the backdrop of the greatest economic crisis to face the people of this state since its foundation. Tens of billions of euro have been poured into private banks and the government is imposing savage public spending cuts. Yet voters have been told that there is no alternative to this austerity programme as the state lacks resources.’ 

‘However, the government’s own figures, published by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, indicate that Ireland’s Atlantic Margin contains ten billion barrels of oil equivalent. The value of this substantial reserve is estimated to be in excess of €580 billion. Saturday’s event has been organised to highlight the giveaway of our natural resources and to provide information to voters to ask prospective TDs.’ 

In conclusion, Caoimhe Kerins said, ‘To date the Shell to Sea campaign has saved the state some €10 billion as Shell’s plans to raid the Corrib gas field have been frustrated for almost a decade. Shell to Sea is calling on the incoming government to reverse the notorious 1987 Ray Burke deal that reduced the state’s 50 per cent share in its offshore oil and gas to zero and abolished royalties, effectively ceding control to private corporations. Proper management of our substantial oil and gas reserves would provide a long-term revenue stream for the state and substantial resources to invest in our public services.’ 

ENDS 

For clarification or further information contact: 

Caoimhe Kerins        

 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

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 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.

AttachmentSize
540_BlueNote_back_good.jpg398.71 KB
540_BlueNote_back_good.jpg398.71 KB