Rabbitte asks oil industry whether licensing terms are too generous to oil industry

Minister dictates what consultants’ findings should be: that things are fine the way they are

Wood Mackenzie logoLast week Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte named the company chosen to carry out a “fitness-for-purpose” review of Ireland’s infamous licensing terms for oil and gas exploration. Unfortunately, the company he has tasked with carrying out this review is Wood Mackenzie, a company at the heart of the very industry that stands to gain from Ireland’s “attractive” licensing regime remaining as it is. Wood Mackenzie is an oil industry consultancy firm: what Mr Rabbitte is asking it to do is recommend whether or not he should reduce the share of revenue that some of its clients will receive from the sale of Irish oil and gas.

Wood Mackenzie’s parent company Hellman & Friedman also jointly owns an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) engineering company with oil major Total (see note below). Continue reading

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Gardaí, GSOC, ‘whistleblower reprisal’, Corrib Gas and the ‘rape tape’

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe’s first contact with a TD came about because he saw Clare Daly TD on ‘Tonight with Vincent Browne’ talking about policing of Corrib Gas protests, writes William Hederman

The repercussions for Garda whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson will be familiar to others who have publicly embarrassed An Garda Síochána. They were clearly acting in the public interest, but their revelations brought the force into disrepute, and the two men suffered as a result. Revenge was exacted – not only by colleagues, but also by way of public denunciation by the Garda Commissioner (“disgusting”), the Minister for Justice (“not co-operating”) and by various other parties loyal to the force.

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The day Pat Kenny called me a Luddite: RTÉ radio debate about Ireland’s oil and gas

I was a guest on the Today with Pat Kenny radio show on May 28th, 2013, to discuss Ireland’s management (or mismanagement) of its oil and gas resources. I was debating against David Horgan, MD of Irish exploration company Petrel Resources. Bizarrely, during the debate Pat Kenny suggested there was “a touch of the Luddite” about me, because I favoured renewable energy over fossil fuels (yes, that’s right, not the other way around). You can listen to the item here:
Today with Pat Kenny: 28 May 2013

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Opinion article in Evening Echo: ‘Ireland will not reap the reward of oil finds’

Below echo_pic_oilrigis an an opinion article by me that appeared in the Evening Echo (a daily newspaper published in Cork) on May 1st, about the fact that Ireland has very little control over its oil and gas resources. The article came about because of a news report in the newspaper three weeks previously, on April 8th, titled ‘Oil must be refined in Ireland for financial benefits’, in which I was quoted at length. Unfortunately, because of an error by the newspaper, that news article misquoted me in a very significant way. It gave the impression that I was mistaken about a key aspect of Ireland’s licensing terms for oil and gas. Continue reading

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Corrib will pay little or no tax: who is to blame?

If an oil company takes longer than expected to complete an oil or gas extraction project and, as a result of those delays, ends up paying no revenue to the state from whose territory for oil or gas extracted, most people would conclude that there is something wrong with how that state manages its natural resources. However, some people prefer to direct all of the blame on protesters for the absence of revenue. Continue reading

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Tony O’Reilly Jnr quizzed on BBC’s ‘Today’ programme about Ireland’s bad deal from oil

Providence boss repeats usual myths about Irish oil/gas fields 

By William Hederman

Tony O'Reilly JnrThe BBC appears to be more clued in to the realities of Ireland’s mismanagement of our oil and gas resources than are many people here in Ireland.

This morning (Wednesday, 10th October 2012) the CEO of Providence Resources, Tony O’Reilly Jnr, was interviewed live on BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme, ‘Today’, following the company’s announcement that its Barryroe field off Cork will yield 280 million barrels of oil. The presenter quizzed O’Reilly about the bad deal Ireland will get from production of Irish oil. [See link at end of this article to an audio file of the BBC interview]  Continue reading

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‘Dalkey and oil’ – opinion piece on Broadsheet.ie

By William Hederman

[Article published on Broadsheet.ie on 4th October 2012]

“We’re going to be rich” That was one response on Twitter last night to the news that Providence Resources has been granted a licence to drill for oil less than 10km from Dalkey Island. While more and more people understand that it is private companies rather than Ireland that will get rich from oil and gas discoveries here, there is still a stunning level of ignorance around this topic. Much of this comes from politicians and journalists. Continue reading

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