Here is a recording of a discussion I was involved in on Newstalk radio on 15th March 2012. The item was about the announcement by Tony O’Reilly’s Providence Resources that it had made Ireland’s first commercially viable discovery of oil at the Barryroe oil field off Co Cork. (Thanks to Mark Malone for creating this YouTube clip.)
In summary, media coverage of the announcement was based on the usual assumptions that oil or gas extraction in Irish waters would provide a boost to the Irish economy, in terms of jobs, infrastructure and “investment”, and would improve Ireland’s “security of supply”. In reality, none of these is benefits is guaranteed, as the company can export the oil directly from the rig and is unlikely to use any Irish equipment, services or staff.
The other speaker in the Newstalk item is David Horgan, MD of Petrel Resources, an Irish exploration company with operations in Iraq and Ghana. Petrel is one of the companies awarded an Irish exploration licence by Minister Pat Rabbitte in 2011.