Skip to main content

Dempseys other options (Norway..)...

Hej!What Dempseys selective choice also ignores is the terms on whichmultinationals are allowed to exploit the resource. As we well knowby now those terms put nothing into the state coffers bar the PAYE theemployees earn and nothing into the locality bar the few pound theemployees spend in the locality. A far cry from the billions the gas isworth.If it was left in the ground (option 1) until a real squeeze for oil/gascame in the future the multinationals would pay a lot more to get theirhands on it and would be more than happy to what leave 25% - 50% of the claim to the state as is done in many other countries.If the state didn't want private multinational involvement they couldoffer a contract to a state multinational with the requisite expertise,say Statoil, to devolop the resource. Lets call this option 4.Unfortunately their ideology prevents them from such a path.It would be interesting to know how much it would cost the state to buy out the Shell and Marathon or even just the Shell part of the consortium and ask Statoil or Marathon to continue with the devolopment - offshore. Both companies have the ability to do this. Again ideology would would prevent FF/PD or even Fine Gael supporting this option. Maybe FF/FG backbenchers might be amiacable to it though.A further issues is what the operator inted doing with the carbon dioxidewithin the raw gas. If there is more thatn a 1% CO2 content it has to beremoved before the gas can be sold commercially. Usually refineries justpump this into the air. Now with the EU cap and trade scheme for carbonemissions the operator would have to pay a price for every ton of CO2 they emitted. The best solution would be if the CO2 was physically captured after being seperated from the raw gas and not released at all. This is done on statoils sleipner gas rig off the coast of Norway. They pump the gas into a saline aquifier 1000m below the seabed. See attached photo for some ideas on carbon capture. Actually this should be done at all of Irlelands power stations but that's another issue. Just for relevance of emissions issue the CO2 level in atmosphere over last 400,000 years was between 180 and 280ppm (parts per million). This is known from examining air pockets trapped in the ice in Greenland and the Antartica. When the level was low there was an ice age and when it was up there was a thaw. The amount of Co2 in the atmosphere now is ... wait for it ... 380ppm. You can't say that this will cause climate change but what you can say is that it is unprecedented and that the function of CO2 in the atmosphere is to trap heat to keep the earth warm so the more we pump up ...A very radical option would be to remove all the carbon from the raw gasand leave only hydrogen. There would be no carbon emissions at allfrom burning the resource then. The Norwegian government are trying to kick start a hydrogen economy of their own by building six hydrogen garages along the road between Stavanger and Oslo. The reason it is being tried there is that the only area left where they can make significantreductions on their greenhouse gas emissions is the transport sector.That would not be true at all for Ireland though on the other hand thearguments for not attempting this would be interesting to hear. Oneproblem so far in Norway is finding cars that can run on the hydrogenfuel cell. See:http://www.hynor.noSomehow I think the Norway connection has not been played out yet...hej då,

Posted Date: 
29 November 2005 - 4:49pm