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Legalised Robbery - Multinationals and Ireland's Natural Resources

category national | miscellaneous | feature author Saturday March 31, 2007 16:58author by Fin Dwyer - (WSM pers cap)author email findwyer at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Why Ireland stands to lose €400 billion in natural gas and oil deposits

featured image
Everything Must Go!

Concerns about the safety of Shell’s pipeline in Rossport are well known. But that’s not all that’s at stake. Not by 400 billion euro. The oil companies exploiting Ireland’s west coast have got some of the sweetest deals in the world and that doesn’t happen by accident.

This article looks at how the Irish state has been busy rolling over for the last thirty years so the multinationals can grab the riches that should belong to us all.

Related Links: ICTU head calls ponders nuclear power | Eirigi Natural Resources | SP on climate change | Rossport: a community resisting the multinationals | Peak oil and Energy Resources |

The two most well known Irish hydrocarbon deposits, the Corrib field and the Dunquin prospect, are collectively worth at least €400 billion euros. They contain around 33 trillion cubic feet of gas and between 2.5 and 4 billion barrels of oil. The gas in the Corrib belongs to Shell, Statoil and Marathon while the Dunquin prospect is totally controlled by Exxon Mobil and Providence. Ordinary Irish workers will end up buying back our oil and gas while the companies will be charged pitiful tax rates against which they can write off all exploration and construction costs over the past twenty-five years. How did this happen?

Kinsale and the original terms
Gas and oil exploration began in Ireland In the 1960’s and in 1973 Marathon Oil found the first field off the coast of Cork. This became known as the Kinsale field. The Fianna Fail government of the time gave Marathon a once off deal in which Bord Gais bought the field at a reduced rate. Gas and oil exploration continued throughput the 1970’s but little was found.

This exploration was coupled with a change in the political landscape. In 1973 the “National Coalition” government was elected. This compromised Fine Gael and Labour. Fine Gael’s Liam Cosgrave became Taoiseach and Labour got seven ministerial posts. Labour’s Justin Keating, a former lecturer in UCD, became minister for industry and commerce.

Keating, ideologically a social democrat, was critical of the terms granted to Marathon Oil. The social democratic model being applied in Norway which was taxing the oil majors up to 90% tax heavily influenced Keating. The initial find occurred in1973 which coincided with the first major oil crisis. This made oil a very valuable commodity and also should have made the Irish fields more lucrative and exploitable.

Keating introduced new terms for exploitation based on three principles what became known as the Keating principles:
1.The State, acting for the people as owners of the resource, should be paid for the resources.
2. Companies engaging in offshore development on the Irish continental shelf should be subject to Irish taxation.
3.Since the resources are public property, the State must have the right to participate in their exploitation.


The main points of the terms were:
(A.) Up to 50% stake find in any commercial field
(B.) 8-16% royalties would be taken.
(C.) 50% Corporation tax.
(D.) The drilling must take place within three years.
(E.) The companies give up to 50% of the field to the State in 4 years.
They also laboured all costs of exploration on the companies.


A Rosy Irish Future?
So by 1974 oil had just rocketed to $12 a barrel (cheap it seems but this was a 400% increase than) and it seemed Ireland with its new terms was in for a windfall, but the oil companies were not so easily beaten. In his own words to Primetime in 2001 Keating had brought in the legislation because “I remember being terrified because I thought they [the companies] held all the cards” (CPI report, the great Corrib gas controversy, 55). This was quite understandable as the oil companies had just formed the Irish off shore operators group (later to become association) to lobby in their interests.

Fianna Fail take over
Before Keating could push forward with his ideas and set up a state oil company the so called national coalition was voted out in 1977 and the boys were back in town, that is Fianna Fail were in government again. Jack Lynch was Taoiseach and Dessie O Malley (later founder of the Progressive Democrats) became minister for Industry and Commerce. Ironically O’Malley’s main act in relation to natural resources was to set up the Irish national petroleum company- a State oil company. The company’s articles of association are interesting as they limit the company from exploring or exploiting oil or gas. (The INPC was later privatised and bought by Conocco-Phillips.)

Although this may seem insignificant, O’Malley by preventing the company from exploring or exploiting, severely limited Keating’s original idea; by setting up the INPC it almost made certain the Irish State would never have a National oil company along the lines of Statoil. It seems O’Malley free market ideology was very influential in this move.

Indeed the very idea of setting a national oil company didn’t sit well with O’Malley and he later said to the Dail the only he reason he did so was because Iraq would only sell oil to a State oil company (CPI report, the great Corrib gas controversy, 13).

Throughout the 1980’s the Irish state had little idea of what was the results of the exploration in Irish waters were as there were no independent tests carried out. The oil companies continued to say that finds were minimal. By the mid 1980’s 96 oil gas wells had been drilled and amazingly knowing what we know now about what lies off the west coast little was found. The oil companies moved into action and started to push that the terms instituted in 1973 be altered so they were more favourable toward the companies.

Dick Spring's true colours
In 1985 Dick Spring as minister for Energy in Garret Fitzgerald’s coalition government began to cede ground to the oil companies. He granted special terms to fields that were under 75million barrels. This included a reduced royalty rate and a sliding scale for state participation rights. In 1986 Spring removed all state participation rights on what were termed marginal fields.

Enter Fianna Fail stage right
By 1987 the government had nominally changed. Fianna Fail were back at the helm. Charles Haughey had entered his third term as Taoiseach of a country plunging further and further into crisis. Ray Burke was made Minister for Energy.

The oil companies through their Irish Offshore Operators Association were seriously lobbying for change arguing that the Irish terms were too harsh. Burke acquiesced and started to dismantle the basis of Keating’s ideas. He allowed the companies to write 100% of tax off against all exploration and construction costs over the past 25 years.

Even Ray Burke felt it would be over generous to reduce the 50% corporation tax (something Bertie Ahern would disagree with 5 years later, see below) so it remained. This was a good start for the oil companies as all costs of exploration were effectively transferred onto the people of Ireland as the companies were paying less tax on something that belonged to the people of the country. The reasons stated by Bertie Ahern (then Finance minister was to improve Ireland’s “competitive position in attracting oil and gas exploration” (CPI report, the great Corrib gas controversy, 13. Ahern went on to express concern for the “intense pressure on oil companies' exploration budgets” on the 22nd of October 1987 in reference to the new terms (www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie) Seamus Brannan articulated the state’s position well:
“In the area of oil exploration, it is quite clear that it is too muddled, too complex, too protective, too timid, too cautious and, in effect, useless, because courage is not being taken in one's hands with the idea of getting the oil, the gas, out of the ground, and improving the intensity of the search” Dail Eireann 28th of June 1985 www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie).

It is clear that by the mid eighties the government wanted more exploration and hoped success rates would then increase. To do this the costs of exploration were written off against tax. It appears the logic was if we drill more holes something would eventually be found. This is clear from Burke and Ahern’s statements.

Effects of the change in terms
Amazingly, after 1987 success rates rocketed by 99%. This was really odd as actual exploration rate fell by 41%. The formula worked but in a very illogical way. Something wasn’t right. This rate is obviously unbelievable and wasn’t just co-incidence. After drilling for years and finding nothing suddenly the companies struck gold at a time when they cut back on exploration. The most plausible reason is that the oil companies were sitting on information and waiting for the better terms to come along and from 1987 the government was beginning to answer their prayers. When these new and disimproved terms were brought in to legislation by Burke they then selectively drilled in places they knew they would be successful.

Things manage to get worse!
In 1992 Bertie Ahern (current Taoiseach) was the Minister for Finance. Ahern totally dismantled the 1975 terms introduced by Keating. There was to be no state involvement and royalties were abolished. In the 1992 terms, gas and oil were to be sold to the highest bidder (whereas at Kinsale they were sold at a reduced rate to Bord Gais). Licensing agreements were extended from three to sixteen years. At this point Ahern disagreed with Burke as he reduced to the corporation tax to 25%. He had widespread support for these measures. His Taoiseach of the time, Albert Reynolds, bemoaned the fact that there was not “a clear recognition by the Government that risks must be rewarded and enterprise encouraged in relation to the oil and gas industry”. (Dail Eireann 30th October 1985, www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie)

This created what are widely felt as the best conditions for oil companies in the world, but that in effect means the worst terms for people of Ireland. This is astounding as the finds had dramatically increased since Burkes 1987 deal.

Who is to blame?
The point of this article is not to let the politicians off the hook but rather to point out that it wasn’t just one bad egg or corrupt party who got us in this dire situation. It is highly unlikely that Dick Spring or Dessie O Malley were corrupt. Rather they followed the rules of capitalism – they facilitated those trying to accrue capital. Neither is it written to lump all the blame Shell totally. As one Shell to Sea campaigner commented on the Shell/ Corrib scenario“if you put a lion in a cage with a sheep you can’t give out to the lion when it tries to eat the sheep”.

What the terms throughout the years seem to indicate is that the much used analysis of blaming corrupt politicians is wrong. To say no corruption was involved may be excessive but it seems unlikely that it wasn’t the prime factor. There are three possibly more influential reasons as to why the people of Ireland now find themselves with their in resources in the hands of multinational corporations.

The first is right wing ideology is and has been hegemonic over the Irish political spectrum. Keating seems to have been one of the few in favour of a State oil company. Dessie O’Malley was fervently against it and effectively stopped any future moves by establishing a very limited oil company the INPC. Future moves to maintain the resources oil Ireland for the people of Ireland were absent. The political will to do so didn’t exist in any of the main political parties. It was Labour through the auspices of Dick Spring got the ball rolling on the issue in 1985.

The second reason seems to have been a genuine fear of the oil companies. This seems to have been real and if we look at Keating’s comments to primetime (cited above) there was a genuine fear that the companies would leave altogether. Strangely at the time no one seems to have asked the question “what were they contributing”? Courage seems to have been lacking, but also while Keating may have had some progressive ideas he was in a coalition with Fine Gael and the idea of standing up to international capital which is what was needed would obviously be horrifying. Politics for public interest in Ireland is treated like a nice idea but not something politicians are really interested in.

The third and possibly most important reason was we had no control over our national resources. We were and are looking from crumbs off our own table. This was fuelled by the fear of the companies and international capital by the few in favour of nationalisation even in a limited whilst there was a willingness to support private capital by the vast majority . They held all the cards and the politicians would not or more accurately did not want to stand up and tell them to pay up or get out. Unfortunately they stayed and now we must fight them for fields about to go into production.

The fourth and final reason supplements the first two is that the state was not carrying out any independent test the drilling by the multinationals. This then led the state to be in a position that all its information was coming from oil companies. It was obviously in the oil multinationals’ interest to down play what they found and in fact Dick Spring’s terms (introduced in 1985) must have only encouraged it where the smaller the field, the better terms the companies received .

What we can see is that the Irish state allowed itself to be hoodwinked. This situation must have been obvious to successive energy and finance ministers since 1988 at the latest. Since then as free market ideology dominates there was no political will to challenge it.

The blame for this situation lies with the entire political establishment and system. All the major parties have been in power (except Sinn Fein and The Socialist Party and the Greens) since 1988. They facilitated this as they allowed it to continue. The past politicians allowed themselves to be hoodwinked in some cases (did they honestly think they could believe be the likes of Shell, Marathon and Exxon?), as it appears they didn’t have the will to rock the boat. They sold our resources in some cases for ideological reasons. The current politicians are possibly more to blame. They are aware of exactly what happened. They can see the unbelievable surge in productivity in exploration in 1987. They are probably muted by the fact that very prominent politicians took bribes at some point or were facilitated or thanked for introducing legislation. Why Bertie Ahern introduced more favourable legislation in 1992 is quite strange.

The nominal parties of the left, Labour and the Greens are equally compliant. Pat Rabitte is desperate to prove to big business that Labour can be trusted with the economy of the rich so will never challenge Exxon or Shell even to the extent Justin Keating was willing to. The Greens still have to state their policy which means they’ll blow with the wind and in Ireland it’s blustering right towards continued privatisation.

The future
However this is changing rapidly. The Corrib Field is between 6-11TCF (trillion cubic feet the equivalent of well 1.4 billion barrels of oil). In the average scenario the field is worth in the region of €50 - €60billion. The Dunquin field is probably worth at least around €400 billion. Opposition has a very limited time to rectify the legalised theft of our resources. Exxon and Providence will attempt to pump the gas and oil in Dunquin in the next ten years, Shell will pump Corrib once they realise an inland refinery is not a runner. In thirty years they will potentially have pumped 500 billion euros out of the country. And there are other potentially valuable fields off Donegal, Wexford and in Cavan/Leitrim. The question for the next twenty years is whether the people of Ireland will act or do our usual moaning when it’s too late to act.

history of gas exploration (courtesy of John Monaghan)
history of gas exploration (courtesy of John Monaghan)

author by Finpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 15:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the the Dunquin prospect the figures fluctuate drastically. A Dail debate of 4 may 2006 cites there being 25TCF of gas and only 4 million barrels of oil ( the 4 milion barrels seems highly unlikely as such a small amount would not be at all profitable to extract and must be an error), theIrish times of the Thursday, May 18, 2006 ctied providence as saying that Dunquin has the potential to produce 160 million barrels of oil and 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas.

author by More Info on Dunquinpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors


On sources:

From the Providence Website today:

DUNQUIN - Frontier Exploration Licence FEL 03/04
Porcupine Basin, Offshore Ireland,
Blocks 44/18, 23, 24, 29, 30
Dunquin North: Potential Recoverable Reserves: 5.5 TSCF; 850 MMBO
Dunquin South: Potential Recoverable Reserves: 20 TSCF, 3280 MMBO
Operator: Providence: (16%) Partner: ExxonMobil: (80%)*, Sosina: (4%)

For the non-hydro-carbon experts that is:

25.5 Trillion Standard Cubic Feet between both north and south Dunquin (For comparison Kinsale supplied almost all Irelands natural gas needs for 20+ years and had between 1.1 TSCF and 1.9TSCF.)

and

4,130 Billion barrells of Oil between north and south Dunquin. Reserves of this size would make Ireland a major exporter of oil for years to come.

These reserves if confirmed will in the words of Tony O Reilly jnr
“transform the energy requirements of Western Europe" .
He should know as he's the CEO of Providence.

For more on the size of the various reserves around Ireland click on

http://www.eirigi.org/campaigns/naturalresources/how_mu...l.htm

Related Link: http://www.eirigi.org/campaigns/naturalresources/how_much_gas_oil.htm
author by Dpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All the figures quoted here or anywhere else regarding the Dunquin propsect are pure speculation. It is an undrilled prospect and, until it is drilled (if it ever is), nobody knows if it contains any oil or gas. Furthermore, it is a very high risk prospect and there is probably less than a 5% chance that it contains oil or gas in commercial quantities.

author by Finpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All the figures cited so far are from the Dail website, the Irish times website based on Providence figures and providences own website.

author by Dpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 17:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They ARE speculation - it is an UNDRILLED prospect.

The quote above from the Providence website talks of "POTENTIAL recoverable reserves", there is no direct quote from the Dail debate, but if anyone quoted proven figures they are totally wrong - not the first time a politician has been wrong!

author by JMpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 20:24author address Rossportauthor phone Report this post to the editors

It is also worth mentioning that the figures for Dunquin could also be HIGHER than those predicted/hoped for, making the giveaway even more grotesque.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com/
author by Dpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 20:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It is also worth mentioning that the figures for Dunquin could also be HIGHER than those predicted/hoped for".

They could be, but as I stated earlier, there is only something like a 5% probability that there is anything there with any value at all!

author by Northern Lightpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 21:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors


D, they won't actually know how much oil or gas is down there until they go into production. Even years after they will constantly be revising their figures. That's the industry practise. You won't get a better picture than Fin has presented until the oil flows. If the information is good enough for Exxon Mobil it's good enough for me. Let's face it they didn't buy the stake for any reason other than that they thought it was significant and thus potentially luctative.

author by Dpublication date Thu Mar 29, 2007 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No oil or gas has been discovered at Dunquin - zero, none.

If there is a commercial discovery in future then you are right in saying that the expected recovery will be constantly revised - the first day you know the reserves of oil and gas in any field is the day it finishes production - but that is irrelevant in this case because there has been no drilling and therefore no discovery. ExxonMobil and Providence know this, the petroleum industry is a risk business and, if they decide to drill, they will be risking their money (probably at least €40 million for an exploration well in this location) in the hope that they are successful. As stated twice already, there is perhaps only a 5% chance of any success, but that is how the industry works.

author by .publication date Fri Mar 30, 2007 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

irelandforsale.png

author by Ignorantpublication date Fri Mar 30, 2007 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As JM is obviously such an expert on the subject perhaps he would like to explain exactly what is meant by "shows" and exactly what the difference is between 'shows' and 'reserves'? If you have 'shows' does this mean you automatically have a oil or gas field worth billions?

author by Mark - WSMpublication date Fri Mar 30, 2007 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"the first day you know the reserves of oil and gas in any field is the day it finishes production". am i the only one to find this a ridiculous statement that still retains the sense of saying something. no offense to the author but it seems to fall under the smokescreen category to me

"And the first time you know how long ya live is the day ya die."
neither of these 'Facts' stop either the fossil fuel industry or the individual getting on with what it is they do. in the example of the fossil fuel industry that is to contuinue to maximise profits at all costs, whilst fighting rearguard actions against all those who suffer from the consquences of the industries actions, both proposed and underway.

the amount of counterfactual stuff that come out the minds of pro fossil fuel industry is always amusing, but given gravitas by its genuine danger. Although one might be a bit confused since it clear Shell have been making up thier own reserve figures for years.

More on the bullshit surrounding pro fossil fuels industry and its attempts to crush the growing radical democracy movements challenging current climate change mitigations can be found at the links below

PDF Document Democracy or Carbocracy? Intellectual Corruption and the Future of the Climate Debate 0.28 Mb

author by krossie - wsm personal capacitypublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

D: As stated twice already, there is perhaps only a 5% chance of any success, but that is how the industry works.

Hello "D" I'm not necessarily having a go at you just wondering where your particular 5% figure comes from?
Is it a general average figure for exploratory drilling and the chances of finding anything?

or

Is it an estimate from the companies who own the license?

In the latter case they would, obviously, underplay the chances of finding any thing in order to get the best licensing deal and fence out competitors.
Capitalists like to portray themselves as risk takers/trail blazers but the big guys normally work on almost certain bets with a tiny investment for far out” off the wall" exploration or research.

I find it hard to believe they have invested 40 million (though smallish change by oil company standards) by your figures on a 5% bet....

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie
author by ECpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

[from the Independent (london), Feb 14th 2006]

Tony O'Reilly jnr, the chief executive of Providence, said the potential size of the prospect, in the Porcupine Basin, could "transform the energy requirements of Western Europe".

The deep water Dunquin prospect has potential recoverable volume of some 25 trillion square cubic feet of gas and about 4 billion barrels of oil. If proven, that would put it among the 20 biggest fields in the world.

"Even if we're half-right, the numbers are mind-blowing... Europe has an over-reliance to the east at the moment. This is opening up a new hydrocarbon frontier," Mr O'Reilly said.

author by Mark - wsm per cappublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the some of the most up to date, coherent and radical critique of current climate change mitigation, under the guise of Carbon Trading check out Larry Lohmann's

Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power

It looks at not only how carbon trading fails to address climate changes even within its own framework, but also examines how the Kyoto treaty, and subsequent efforts, are about imposing an market led solution on what is, essentially, a political social and environmental issue of global proportions. As usual free market hypocrisy and double think abound. Carbon trading allows the continual growth in greehouse gases and CO2, whilst actually hindering progressive moves to tackle climate change from the bottom up. here a brief splurge

The main cause of global warming is rapidly increasing carbon dioxide emissions -- primarily the result of burning fossil fuels. Some responses to the crisis, however, are causing new and severe problems -- and may even increase global warming. This seems to be the case with carbon trading -- the main current international response to climate change and the centrepiece of the Kyoto Protocol.

Carbon trading has two parts. First, governments hand out free tradable rights to emit carbon dioxide to big industrial polluters, allowing them to make money from business as usual. Second, companies buy additional pollution credits from projects in the South that claim to emit less greenhouse gas than they would have without the investment. Most of the carbon credits being sold to industrialized countries come from polluting projects, such as schemes that burn methane from coal mines or waste dumps, which do little to wean the world off fossil fuels. Tree plantations claimed to absorb carbon dioxide, in addition, often drive people off their lands and destroy biological diversity without resulting in progress toward alternative energy systems.

This exhaustively-documented but highly-readable book takes a broad look at the social, political and environmental dimensions of carbon trading and investigates climate mitigation alternatives. It provides a short history of carbon trading and discusses a number of 'lessons unlearned'. Detailed case studies from ten Third World countries -- Guatemala, Ecuador, Uganda, Tanzania, Costa Rica, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, South Africa and Brazil -- expose the outcomes on the ground of various carbon 'offset' schemes.

The book concludes that the 'carbon trading' approach to the problem of rapid climate change is both ineffective and unjust. The bulk of fossil fuels must be left in the ground if climate chaos is to be avoided.

Related Link: http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/summary.shtml?x=544225
author by Aidanpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I must admit i was ignorant of the 'Keating Principles' before reading the article.

They could be used as a point of reference and the minimum reform to be demanded when the politicians come knocking on our doors over the coming weeks,

author by Dpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The 5% I quoted is based on my 30+ years in the industry and is a likely figure for this type of prospect - it may be a bit high given that the nearest well was drilled around 60 km away.

As I have said, it is a risk business and I have known companies spend $200 million on a single well with similar chances of success. In the case of Dunquin, the first well would be over €40 million and, if it was successful, another 3 or 4 appraisal wells would be needed before the companies know if the discovery is commercial.

author by marcus aureliuspublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You work for the likes of Shell for thirty years (plus).

You take part in a discussion (anonymously) about the incredible deals that the people you work for get, and say, effectively, "oh no, we're not that bad. Actually we are doing you a favour, since if we didn't take this stuff off your hands you'd never get the benefit of it (even though we'll make you pay through the nose for it). We take incredible risks to rob these resources from you, so you should thank us..."

When your rather unbelievable figures are questioned, you point out that working in this rip off industry for so long equips you to make these outrageous and self-serving claims.

Hmmm...

author by Dpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. I have no connection with Shell.

2. I am just pointing out the facts.

Do you really think you are helping your cause by denying the facts?

author by Finpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just interested D, you are obviously not enjoying retirement since you always post a reply in the space of an hour if not minutes. You seem to be constantly watchin this thread. Or maybe its your new job?

author by Marcus Aureliuspublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You tell me that you worked thirty years (plus) in the oil and gas business without ever having any connection with Shell. I never said you did. Presumably you worked for one of the company's competitors though. Same difference really.

You tell me that you are pointing out "facts", but they are statements (e.g. your 5 per cent claim) that you can't back up. Those are called "opinions" by most people.

And your opinions, even you would have to admit, are probably somewhat coloured by working for thirty years (plus) in the business of taking the flammable stuff out of the ground for massive profit.

author by Dpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Say what you like, the fact is that there are NO proven oil or gas reserves at Dunquin. As I started by saying, all the rest is speculation.

author by Northern Lightpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I pose three questions which can help my and possibly others with clarification of your position and also of the "facts". Looking forward to hearing your responces.

Question 1:

Do you accept the valuation FIn puts on the Corrib field of €50 - €60billion?
If not would you like to suggest a lower figure?

Question 2:

Do you accept that the Dunquin field is probably physically bigger than the Corrib field?

Question 3:

Let's say that the Dunquin field contains 10% of the oil that Fin reads is there ,and whoose worth is thus €40 billion. Is this an aceptable sum for the state to give away? That's probably equal to the national debt.

Notes: I have no idea of Exxon would go ahead and seek to produce oil from Dunquin if the oil therein was only worth €40 billion. I accept that the national debt is a non issue for Ireland these days.

author by John Boypublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How is it that when someone doesn't toe the party line laid out by the majority of indymedia contributors, they are subject to snide personal comments, as seems to be the case here with D.

If he/she has some knowledge of the industry then it's no less valid than those who will spout anti-Shell guff until the cows come home without any actual knowledge of it but merely parroting the words of others.

I'm not defending Shell or anything like it but some of the comments posted are downright ridiculous and should, in an ideal world, discredit the ignorant buffoons that come out with it.

That's my two cents for now.

author by Chekovpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. An anonymous person claiming x years of experience in some specialist field without any supporting evidence is not worth very much.

2. Claiming to have an accurate knowledge of the probability of the existence of exploitable reserves further detracts from their credibility. Unless you have access to the imaging data that the oil companies have, you can't possibly make even a wild guess as to the probability of exploitable reserves. There are all sorts of modern techniques and tools for analysing geological characteristics and for refining probabilities (eg: sattellite imaging: http://www.satimagingcorp.com/svc/oil-exploration.html) without drilling, or using limited drilling (eg: Electro-Magnetic temperature measurement: http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/1998/B/19980....html) or the more traditional seismic response methods. Using modern techniques, "typically about 40% of wells recently drilled find commercial hydrocarbons." [1]

So, to sum up, the person making the claim for a probability of 5% above has zero credibility, is making claims about stuff for which he has no data and, finally, doesn't appear to have a clue about the realistic probabilities that oil companies can achieve nowadays prior to drilling.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_exploration

author by Anonpublication date Mon Apr 02, 2007 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I distinctly remember during the mid to late 1970s when there was oil and gas exploration going on off the South and West coasts of Ireland, that rumours quickly surfaced that significant finds had been made but the reports coming from the oil & gas companies was that nothing was found.

I also recall whilst all this was going on, all Irish workers were withdrawn from the rigs and it was said at the time that it was because they didn't want them to have any access to what was happening out on the rigs. And the removal of the Irish workers was quite controversial at the time. I even vaguely remember some kind of political argument about it with some politicians saying there were finds made, and others siding with the exploration companies. The "consensus" from the government of the day was that nothing was found.

This article now seems to backup those rumours almost 30 years later.

author by Dpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 06:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. No, as with just about every figure in Fin's report, that is absurd. A reasonable figure for the value of Corrib reserves is 3-4 billion.

2. If there is anything at all at Dunquin, it is likely to be larger than Corrib.

3. As I have said plenty of times, there is nothing proved at Dunquin now. Due to its risk and cost of exploration, its value is close to zero. It does not look like much of a give away to me.

Chekov: The ONLY way of proving the presence of oil and gas is by drilling; many techniques are available to reduce the risk but Dunquin will always be very high risk until it is drilled. The quotation "typically about 40% of wells recently drilled find commercial hydrocarbons" is absurd if it refers only to exploration wells (it may be reasonable if it includes wells drilled on fields already proven) the same source states that "high risk" prospescts have "less than a 10% chance of working" - Dunquin is VERY high risk.

author by John Boypublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 08:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What are your credentials for dismissing D's claims....beyond not agreeing with him because he has worked in the oil industry?

And as if to compound it all, you cite wikipedia.

It's like ten thousand spoons....

author by Finpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Essentially what D. is saying is the Irish government, the centre for public enquiry, shell/enterprise oil, providence and independant investigaters are all liars. These are the sources for my figures.

author by Jim boypublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice one John Boy - D is automatically a credible source because he comes onto Indymedia and posts claims anonymously, also claiming to be an expert but supplying no evidence to back up this claim. Chekov posts under his real name and his arguments must be dismissed.

Does anyone else see a flaw in the logic somewhere?

author by John Boypublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I said nothing of the sort. I said not to dismiss him just because his experience comes from working in the evil industry that is the oil industry. Unless you think that everyone that has worked in the oil industry works for Shell (or it's oil industry partners for the Corrib pipeline) or that they've all been made to toe the industry party line.

I wasn't dismissing Chekov at all. I just made the point that you can't dismiss someone because they happen to come from the other side of the coin.

There's no flawed logic in that.

Of course had you read what I said carefully in the first place you'd have spotted that.

author by Jim Boypublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nope, you're gonna have to do better than that. We have no evidence that "D" actually worked in the oil industry at all. He is an anonymous poster, making claims that cannot be verified. You are inclined to believe him because of your own prejudices, but that's no basis for the rest of us to trust him.

author by Mark - WSMpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That readers are asked to give credence to an un-named source giving unproven statistics that we, the readers, should take at face value.

Show links to where readers can find independant verification of D's claims

I like most readers dont defer my opinions to experts without at least some personal investigation of the facts, and im more willing to trust someone who goes to the bother of showing the factual basis of their arguments.

To attempt to muddy the waters by saying readers just wont accpet his word because he (says he) has worked for the oil industry in neither helpful nor reflective of an honest and open debate

author by Markpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The derailment of this well researched thread.

I mean does d or anyone else have anything to say about moving from a privitised profit model of energy creation, where the problems are public and socialied, to a truly democratic, sustainable model of energy production based on need no capitalist logic of creating demand

author by John Boypublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Nope, you're gonna have to do better than that. We have no evidence that "D" actually worked in the oil industry at all. He is an anonymous poster, making claims that cannot be verified. You are inclined to believe him because of your own prejudices, but that's no basis for the rest of us to trust him. "

Firstly, you're inferring that I have an opinion akin to D's. That's incorrect. Stick to facts if you're going to question those that don't give you hard facts. I didn't ask you to accept anything he says.

FAO MARK:

I quote one of the previous posts:

"And your opinions, even you would have to admit, are probably somewhat coloured by working for thirty years (plus) in the business of taking the flammable stuff out of the ground for massive profit."

Are you telling me that that isn't being dismissive of someone on the basis that they've worked for the oil industry?

Most claims can be backed up with facts and stats. Some can't. I'm not entirely sure that what D says can be verified. Maybe it can, maybe it can't.

But it certainly isn't helpful when someone gives a figure and it's widely dismissed because there are no links given to back it up. It's actually not helpful to either side of the argument.

author by Chekovpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

D says "Dunquin is VERY high risk".

And I once again call him a bullshiter. The reason being that it is impossible to know the risk level without having access to the imaging data. Exxon spent 50million yoyos seismically mapping the prospect - a project that was finished in August of last year. They did this because such imaging gives them a much better understanding of the probability of a commercial find.

This information is not in the public domain (nor will it be) and without it, you're probability assessments will be based upon figures pulled out of your ass.

author by Dpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seismic imaging of the prospect only directly helps with one of the unknowns - the presence of a structure which could contain oil or gas. Because of the distance from known geology, all the other risks remain high - these are presesence of reservoir, presence of a source rock, presence of a trapping mechanism and presence of a migration path.

Let's do the calculation. Assuming the following probabilities for each of these factors:

Structure: 90%
Reservoir: 40%
Source: 40%
Trap: 40%
Migration: 40%

The overall risk is then 0.9x0.4x0.4x0.4x0.4 = 0.02304, or 2.3%. So my earlier figure of 5% is probably over-optimistic.

author by Jim boypublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And why should we "assume" these probabilities? Oh I forgot - because you say so. Dunno about anyone else but I'm convinced.

Here's my go now - I would estimate the probability that you have a vested interest in this matter and are connected to Shell as somewhere between 75% and 90%.

Keep your eye on the ball readers - see who's given sources to back up their figures, and who's passed off unsubstantiated claims and speculation as fact. This seems like a very crude attempt to throw dirt in people's eyes

author by Cormacpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Click on link below for details of Natural Resources protest taking place tomorrow:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81792

author by mattpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fail to see what the point is of D's posts....
reminds me a lot of schrodingers cat which is a great mind bender but not really all that practical....

what is the suggestion here?... that we wait until all the oil and gas have been extracted, tot it all up and then try and convince the oil and gas companies to give it back cos it was more than we expected.

The oil companies believe it's there, the government believes it's there and the government is still content to give it away.
Very well they are only probable figures at this stage but what is also probable is that the oil companies know more than they are letting on and what is definite is that whatever profit is made out of it none of it will go to the irish people.

author by Indymedia Watchpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It baffles me to see so called Democrats ( Chekov ) to just refer to D's reasoning as 'pulled out of his ass' and 'bullshit' .

Although i disgree with D's analysis of the facts i think he is entitled to make a reasoned argument without being subject to abuse from a repressed Stalinist.

In typical lefty fashion, if somone disagrees with what we are critiquing they must be a cop or an employee of Shell.

Comment is free but facts are sacred.

author by Chekovpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a simple minded watcher we have here.

The simple fact is that it is impossible to make probability estimates for anything without having access to the relevant data. That's just the nature of the world.

The above figures, proferred by D, are either based upon access to the imaging data that the oil company possess for this particular prospect (and their modelling software, historical data and all that other stuff that they would never ever reveal for obvious commercial reasons) or else they are just invented.

This isn't just my opinion, having access to the necessary data is a basic requirement of all probability measures and all attempts to predict the world. The probability of any given event occurring changes with the amount of evidence that you have. There is a very famous theorem for calculating how probabilities change with new data - Bayes theorem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes'_theorem. This stuff is not even slightly controversial as it's so staggeringly obvious and universally accepted by every single person who has the first clue about probability .

Of course, you are free to form an opinion that every mathematician, computer scientist, statistician and engineer in the world has got it wrong and meaningful probability estimates can in fact be made without access to any of the existing data. Personally, while I respect the right of people to hold such opinions, I tend to describe such opinions as laughable bullshit and the people who profess to hold them as total bullshitters or complete morons.

To put it again, as simply as I can, oil companies preform exploratory studies, satellite imaging, seismic imaging, test drilling and so on because the data that they gain from these tests gives them a better idea of the probability of there being commercial quantities of hydrocarbons and it allows them to make a better-informed risk analysis as to whether it is a good bet to perform further tests, or to launch large scale drilling. The whole point of this article is that, because the existing data is only available to the oil companies, nobody else can have the slightest clue as to what the real probability of a find is, given the existing evidence. People who claim otherwise are just outrageous liars and frauds. Really, attempting to argue this line just makes it really, really obvious that you aren't being remotely honest. It's just a really stupid thing to build your arguments on.

author by End of the day - nonepublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 21:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Probability or no probability of what the reserves contain they have been illegaly given away by the powers that be in this state for many years now.

author by Dpublication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 02:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"To put it again, as simply as I can, oil companies preform exploratory studies, satellite imaging, seismic imaging, test drilling and so on because the data that they gain from these tests gives them a better idea of the probability of there being commercial quantities of hydrocarbons...."

I agree with you and have already stated as much. The simple fact is that it is NOT possible to determine if oil and gas is present without drilling an exploration well and, since the nearest well is about 60km away, the geology at Dunquin will remain very uncertain before that well is drilled.

The example probability calculation I set out above illustrates that drilling will remain high risk - I have not attempted to suggest that that illustration was an exact answer and, in any case, by their nature probability calculations are highly subjective and 2 people with the same information will probably come up with a slightly different answer.

author by zebedeepublication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 13:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just like to say thanks to D for joining the debate and giving his opinion. Its very easy to shout from the sidelines, its harder to make an educated argument which D is obviously trying to stimulate. Nonetheless I fully agree that whatever the risk, if the potential is there our country should own our countries resources and not allow these resources to be sold back to us at an extortionate rate. No deal with an oil company is appropriate, set up our own oil company, explore it and realise the potential for the whole country. Where is our Hugo Chavez?

author by d eilepublication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

D, this debate over predicted yields is irrelevant. The main point of the article is that the government BELIEVES that Dunquinn could be massive and they've given it away. Your points in no way engage with that, in fact they only serve to distract from the issue.

author by Dpublication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 23:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The debate I have engaged in is not about predicted yield, but the probability of there being any yield at all from Dunquin.

"The main point of the article is that the government BELIEVES that Dunquinn could be massive and they've given it away." This is exactly why the article is inaccurate, the point I have been making is that nobody with any knowledge (and this certainly includes the Government) BELIEVES that Dunquin is massive; there is a very, very small chance that it might be massive but it will take great expense at huge risk to find out if there is anything of value. In fact I would not be at all surprised if ExxonMobil decides that the cost and risk are too great to counteract the potential reward and decide to walk away without drilling.

author by Markpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Id suggest that it will been not just a technical assessment of geological surveys, but also the current political and social climate that shows propective fossil fuels corporation that there is a growing and confident grassroots movements willing to not only actively resisit the explotiation of our natural resources, but to make lasting anymeaningful connections between ourselves and similar struggles both nationally and globally

author by d eilepublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"All the figures cited so far are from the Dail website, the Irish times website based on Providence figures and providences own website."

So, unless you're saying that they are all lying and don't actually believe what they're putting out, my point still stands. Whether or not it's speculation is irrelevant; the main point - that they are willing to give away natural resources - is still a problem.

author by Dpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 18:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Prvoidence website only refers to "potential" reserves - meaning that there is a possibility that the structure may contain those amounts and I do not argue with that.

It is very common for small oil companies like Providence to publish the most optimistic figures they can come up with in order to strengthen their share price and attract investment.

author by d eilepublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 19:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. The problem that's being discussed here is the giveaway of a potentially massive reserve.

2. The actual size is irrelevant, it's the issue of giving away the rights to natural resources that's being discussed.

3. You are claiming that we can't know how big the reserve is. Even if you're right, that in no way effects the point of this article, and it means the argument you're perpetuating is pointless. So can we get back to the matter at hand, or are you going to continue derailing this thread?

author by Cormacpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Click on the link below to read about yesterday's lunchtime protest which took place outside the offices of Bord Gáis. This was as part of the ongoing campaign to protect Ireland's natural resources.

http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest050407.html

natural_resources_campaign_image_med_1.jpg

Related Link: http://www.eirigi.org
author by Dpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 21:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The licensing system in Ireland is similar to those used all around the world, particularly in Europe. The fiscal terms are competitive for the prospectivity offshore Ireland and the low number of exploration wells drilled in recent years shows that they are not over generous.

Where is the give away?

author by Random Readerpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 15:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think that both sides are making good points -
1) No, we don't want to give anything valuable away for free.
2) Are we really giving anything valuable away for free?

The question is, is the field worth anything - nobody knows (in my opinion). If it is worth something the company get rewarded for taking a risk. If it isn't then the government just saved the tax payer a lot of money. If the government were off drilling for oil and finding nothing while social indicator X was terrible (something will be), everyone would be up in arms! So they say to a company you go take the risk, not the people of this country. If you find nothing - tough luck, we don't want to know about it. If you find something we'll take a big slice and reward you, thanks. It's up to you to decide what the best course of action is but I think most people (not to say they are right) would be happy to displace the risk onto the company and not burden the general public with it cause at the end of the day there might be nothing there.(You have to weigh up the expected pay-offs) Unless you have some information/evidence that there is something there then it's a whole different story but without any evidence of the field being commerical we start to enter the realm of conspiracy theroies that the government really know and they're selling it off anyway. Maybe they do know....but from a neutral observers point of view, I don't think this is an arguement that will hold weight without something to back it up.

One last thing, I wouldn't suggest quoting wikipedia as a source of information, for me it isn't really that strong a source when trying to back up a claim. (That's just my thinking anyway).

author by Random writerpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" If you find something we'll take a big slice "

You're not paying attention are you? The whole point is that the Government isn't taking a "big slice", or any kind of a slice. See the Rossport deal - the whole cake goes to Shell

author by cool jpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 17:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

D said "The licensing system in Ireland is similar to those used all around the world" - I take it your having a laugh!! - Instead of spouting nonsense - try visiting countries as diverse as Norway, Venezula and the gulf states and wintness the massive wealth generated by oil and gas revenues for the ordinanary citizens. It highlights the treason of the irish government in giving away billions of euros of these valuable natural resources for next to nothing. The Norwegian government alone receives 70% of the revenues generated by Statoil - no wonder the have a world class health service!!

author by cool jpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Figures from the Dept of Marine website show that prospecting efforts by muti-national oil companies actually fell in the years after Ray Burke brought in these sell-out terms for oil and gas exploration in irish waters(1987). This was despite the fact that these companies own figures(the ones they allowed into the public arena anyway) show that over 40% of wells drilled showed evidence of oil or gas in Irish waters - this compares very favourably to nearly every other part of the world including many well known oil/gas producing areas. By far the most important factor factor driving oil and gas exploration world-wide is global prices - hence the increasing number of valuable finds in Irish coastal waters in the last few years.!!

author by Dpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The point is that countries like Norway and Venezula are able to impose more arduous tax regimes because their proven hydrocarbon potential is many times better than it is in Ireland and, I say again, the Irish LICENSING system (fees, duration, relinquishments, etc) are similar to most other countries.

"hence the increasing number of valuable finds in Irish coastal waters in the last few years". There has been ONE commercial find in Irish Coastal waters in the last 25 YEARS - Corrib - "evidence of oil or gas" has no value at all.

author by confused localpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 22:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

D, I think you realize that you or anybody else wont convince supporters of S2S of anything.
I know you aren't trying to convince them, your speaking to the logically minded majority that visits this site.
I agree with your strategy, and I believe it is working.
If S2S had their way, claiming all sorts of propaganda, without you and others pointing out the inaccuracies in their claims.
Then a lot of undecided people would have been duped into supporting their campaign.
This campaign has "nothing" to do with getting shell to sea, If shell built the refinery 200miles out in the Atlantic, they would still protest.

author by Local shop for local peoplepublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 13:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unfortunately for our regular troll, D's arguments have been ripped to shreds repeatedly on this thread by supporters of S2S, and his case boils down to this : "No! You're wrong! Because I say so!"

"Confused local" can no doubt sympathise, since his own arguments have been repeatedly ripped to shreds on Indymedia, yet he still keeps popping up repeating the same clapped-out tune.

author by confused localpublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You call yourself "Non-confused non-local" and follow with how my and others arguments have been "torn to pieces".
Well that assumption tells me you are definitely confused.
the arguments/claims that have been proven to be fictitious are almost exclusively made by S2S supporters.
I on the other hand have researched my "facts" before making any comment, and the proof is there to be seen.
You can pick any subject I have gave an opinion on and you wont see my view proved incorrect.
I have stated before just because you say something often enough, it doesn't make it true.

Now I say to "Non-confused non-local" if you want attempt to justify your remarks , I would be more than happy to make you look silly!

author by Dpublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would also be very interested to know what it is that I have said here you think has been "ripped to shreds"!

author by Local shop for local peoplepublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I didn't call myself "non-confused non-local", it was my opinion of your actual status - I am quite sure that you are neither a local, nor the least bit confused. You have a very clear aim, to attack the Shell to Sea campaign by making dishonest arguments, hoping to confuse people without a detailed knowledge of the situation. You post disingenous comments then move the goal posts when your arguments are dealt with. When your agenda is pointed out, you respond with self-righteous fury - like here.

Anyone who has followed this thread can see "D"'s arguments being demolished. I'd refer them in particular to the comments by Mark and Chekov.

I expect more butter wouldn't melt in my mouth wounded innocence from both of you, but any reader with a shred of skepticism should follow the record of this pair and see what they are actually up to.

author by Dpublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Anyone who has followed this thread can see "D"'s arguments being demolished. I'd refer them in particular to the comments by Mark and Chekov."

You are inventive if nothing else - I do not see where Mark has put forward any counter-arguments to what I have said (and that is why I have not bothered to respond to any of his posts) and I would like to know where any of the points put forward by Chekov have not been fully answered by me.

author by confused localpublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

apologies for mistakenly referring to you as "Non-confused non-local".
I admit I am wrong in that instance.
So "Local shop for local people" or if I may refer to you as "LSFLP", I am flattered that you think I am actually a shell troll/employee,.
I have never worked for shell,or anybody with anything to do with this project, I got dragged into this debate solely because of a chance meeting with a person in belmullet town last autumn.
When we broached the issue of the protest and the refinery, he informed me that the refinery would ruin our environment.
I took his concerns very seriously and decided to research the proved facts on such projects.
When I began to seek information (on the web) I often got results that led to indymeia.ie .
It was very simple to check the claims made on indymedia.ie. and the vast majority of them were inaccurate (one example that really showed that, was the claim of 3 tons of mercury discharged yearly into broadhaven bay).
If you look at any of my posts to indymedia you will find that, I don't claim the project is safe, I simply point out inaccurate claims which are made.
You can check it out and anything I commented on is easily researched on the web (with plenty of scientific data to verify it).
I cant, and didn't contribute to the argument in this thread (I know nothing about the oil/gas industry).
Believe me I am local, and I have never worked for anybody but myself.
If you know coolj or JM I'm sure they have a very good idea as to exactly who I am.

and you say "I expect more butter wouldn't melt in my mouth wounded innocence from both of you, but any reader with a shred of skepticism should follow the record of this pair and see what they are actually up to."

All I am up to is pointing out a simple fact that the emissions from this refinery will not be a serious risk to health, I have often stated that if the claims S2S are making are credible then why haven't they gotten a reputable scientist to argue against the refinery.
My guess is no scientist would put himself forward, and have to prove or even suggest the emissions from the refinery will be dangerous! (as it would be so simple to prove him wrong)
you just have to look at the recommendations of the EPA or the report commissioned by the lobster fishermen to see that, (or were the EPA and the fishermen's expert bought by shell?)

author by Local shop for local peoplepublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 20:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You're quite right - not good enough. You haven't supplied any credible evidence to back up your assertions, just kept repeating the same arguments that have been dealt with by people on this thread and ignoring the counter-arguments. Your position could be summed up as this "trust me, I'm an expert, even though I'm posting anonymously and offer no evidence of my expert status, nor any evidence to back up my claims as I dismiss arguments based on statistics provided by the Irish government and other sources". You're refusing to acknowledge that your points have been dealt with but people can scroll back up and see the evidence in plain English. I suggest they do, and I suggest you stop wasting people's time with these diversionary tactics

author by Dpublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"kept repeating the same arguments that have been dealt with by people on this thread and ignoring the counter-arguments"

Just give one example where one of my points has been successfully dealt with by others or where I have ignored a counter-argument?

I have no vested interest in this matter, I just hate to see lies and ignorance being promulgated as fact and feel duty bound to put the record straight when I can.

author by Local shop for local peoplepublication date Sun Apr 08, 2007 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One more time - people can read over the whole thread and see your arguments being dealt with. In particular, they should have a look at comments from Mark and Chekov. You are unwilling to accept that your points have been dealt with, but the evidence is there in black and white. Your only response has been to make unsubstantiated claims without offering any evidence to back them up, and then present those claims as fact. Anyone can see you are just peddling fiction here and it's time for this silly diversion to end.

author by Amandapublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 01:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Direct from the horse's mouth - 'Fiscal Terms Comparison- a study for the Petroleum Affairs Division, Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources'

"The fiscal terms applicable to new licenses in Ireland require only the payment of a 25% Corporation Tax and it is recognised by the industry that this is among the most lenient terms available" - NO royalties and no profits go back into Ireland; and tax rate is offset against costs accrued over a previous 25 year period so no tax- you can't get any more lenient than that. Companies can also charge us full market prices for our natural resources and we arent guaranteed a supply in an emergency.

Lets compare the Government's giveaway with Newfoundand which is estimated to have similar amounts of reserves to Ireland.
Newfoundland - "royalty rates may be as high as 30% and significant bonuses are required" also the effective tax rate is 26.12%"
Still think the terms for oil and gas exploration in Ireland are beneficial for the people of Ireland?

Its not just Newfoundland which looks for its own natural resources to benefit its people: Germany - 10% royalty and 13% Municipal Income tax in addition to 30.5% Corporation Tax; Denmark - corporation tax 30%, hyrdocarbon tax up to 70%; Falkland Islands - 9% royalties, 32.5% tax; France 35.43% tax; Faroe Islands- 2% royalty, 27% corporation tax and a special hyrdocarbon tax which is levied at rates of up to 40%. And lets not forget Norway and Statoil.

There is no justification for the Government giving away Ireland's natural resources without any real benefit to our country. There has to be a renegotiation of ALL licenses to ensure that Ireland, and not just corrupt politicians & oil companies, actually benefits from its own natural resources.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Fri Apr 13, 2007 08:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How, I wonder, does all of the above fit in with Article 10.1 of the Bunreacht na hEireann (the "BASIC LAW of the Republic of Ireland" or "Constitution") which clearly states:

"All natural resources, including the air and all forms of potential energy, within the jurisdiction of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution and all royalties and franchises within that jurisdiction belong to the State subject to all estates and interests therein for the time being lawfully vested in any person or body." (The full text of the Republic of Ireland's Constitution can be found via http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Bunreacht+na+h...earch .)

In addition, and keeping Article 10.1 in mind, there is also the "Daily Ireland" article of May 27th 2006 at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76312 which, among several other things, contains the following statements:

"It has also emerged since the CPI report was published that a deal for the exploration and development of the Dunquin prospect off the south west coast has been hammered out between the world's largest oil company Exxon Mobil and the Irish company, Providence Resources, in which, surprise surprise, Tony O'Reilly personally holds a 45 per cent stake. Providence acquired the exploration licence for the prospect less than two years ago for the princely sum of €11,000 (£7,700)."

"Under the farm out agreement announced early this year Exxon has agreed to invest €100 million (£70 million) to explore and develop any find from a field which is estimated to be worth €20 billion (£14 billion). If these figures are correct, or anywhere near it, O'Reilly stands to make a personal profit of €1.4 billion without adding any value whatsoever to the licence he obtained."

"It is an extraordinary situation that the government hands a licence to a company for almost nothing. It is worth noting that the Irish taxpayer paid for the seismic research that identified the potential find. The company reaps a huge profit without adding any value while the taxpayer, who funded the original investigation, gets no return in terms of royalties, taxation or even control over the availability or price of any gas or oil brought ashore. Extraordinary but true. As is the fact that a spokesperson for the Taoiseach recently told a prominent Dublin journalist that he was “terrified” of O’Reilly’s other newspaper, the Sunday Independent. In the coming weeks the government will announce the winning tenders for a fresh raft of exploration licenses in the Slyne, Erris and Donegal Basins off the north-west."

Why is it that the legal profession, including the Attorney General for example, all appear (to me) to be ignoring Bunreacht na hEireann regarding the above issues?

Maybe I've missed something?

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81757&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment189489
author by me - We the Peoplepublication date Fri Apr 13, 2007 09:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why indeed.

The biggest threat to this Country is from within , the legal mob being the ring leaders..

The Constitution is 'in the way' for the privatisation of this Country and although ignored, Bunreacht is the only hope of protection from the Corporate takeover.

The only thing that you may have missed is this ;i.e. The original text of Article 10.1. and every other Article. The language in the Irish text is more powerful than the English translation and it is the Irish text that superseeds in a Court of Law.

It reads as follows........' All potential natural wealth, along with the air and all potential energy, (of that) which is under the jurisdiction of the Parliament and the Government that is estiblished by this Constitution, along with every royalty and exemption/franchise that is under that jurisdiction, they all belong to the State, without prejudice to whatever estates and interests that Lawfully belong to any Person or to any group at present.'

Now. The 'blue' Bunreacht that is available in all the shops , is the watered down version.
The original text draft entitled...'A study of the Irish text' ,Michael O Cearuil and is available from Govt. Publications Office in Molesworth St.,Dublin for €19 and is a must read.

The Attorney General , it seems , is wilfully acting against the Constitution as are many Judges and members of Government , but there is no one above the Law.

It may require dragging these gangsters by their heels kicking and screaming into the High or Supreme Courts to be tried for Treason.

author by redneck boy - big bad awlpublication date Sun May 06, 2007 10:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey D, surfin the web while the rig's down and recognised you right away, along with some of the old crew. Can it really be 15 years since I trod on your fingers as you were leaving the Tropicana in Singapore? Did Lucy ever get her G string back? And Jim boy/John boy, the terrible twins, do you remember waking up with the two dwarves that morning in Petrosea bar in Balikpapan? What a laugh! Mark I surely know, wasn't it the Black Hole in Jakarta? Did you finally get cured? And good ole boy Chekov. Nigeria wasn't it? You are definitely going to be rich rich rich, with your expertise in seismic. No need to drill anymore! Anyway, the awlfield wasn't just work was it? We picked up on strange concepts like possible, probable and proven reserves and knew the difference. We helped spend millions of Big Awls money on dry holes. In fact boys, I have this idea to get rich. There's this dumb-ass country, can't tell you where, but a clue, their beer is black!!! They are giving away exploration licences, and I know for a fact the chance of paydirt is 150% Yes, 150% you heard me right!! We only need a few more carefully selected investors, and my old buddies get first bite! All you have to do is send me your credit card details to Box 2134, The Rainbow Rooms, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. If y'all want to visit with me personally and give me cash, I am the one in the far corner on the right. Bless y'all

author by J - -publication date Tue May 29, 2007 23:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To get back to the main problem, if the black stuff IS out there then it's OURS. How do we go about getting terms - more favourable ones - re-written to benefit us in case all the speculation and the hints in the Sunday Independent article 20th May (link) mean we could become as wealthy a country as Scotland?

Related Link: http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/papers/article.php?sid=9972&mode=thread&order=0
author by Peter Mackenzie - Bookworm Bookshoppublication date Wed Oct 03, 2007 01:00author email mackenzie_peter at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Instead of just abusing people it would be helpful if we had some facts.
1 How much is being paid for exploration rights?
2 How much royalties will be paid , if any?
3 What will be the tax take on oil companies profits?
3 How do these terms compare to term offered by other countries with unproven reserves?
5 Is there any clawback in the event of a massive find?

D may well be experienced in the industry and therefore should have no difficulty in providng links to industry literature that supports his claim of 5% or less for success.

There remains a theoretical, political and philosophical argument about whether state run enterprise can be as effective as private enterprise or whether its possible to construct a contract between the state and private capital that can be a win-win situation. Clearer factual information will make for a more informed discussion. So far I have seen nothing that would suggest anybodys argument has been ripped to shreds.

author by ohoraherecaptain - ENVYpublication date Sun Apr 14, 2013 19:26author email author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thomas Maier quoting from John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1950 on who's answerable to who:

"You have been taught that each individual has an internal soul, composed of an intellect which can know truth and a will which is free" he told graduates. "Believing this, Catholics can never adhere to any political theory which holds that the state is a separate, distinct organization to which allegiance must be paid rather than a representative institution which derives its power from the consent of the governed."

The Catholic bit was a clear pitch on his future but it's well put nonetheless!

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