Our oil and gas might as well be off the coast of Brazil for all the good it will do us

Comment piece by William Hederman published in today’s Irish Daily Mail (10 September 2012)

The dogs in the street now understand that Ireland’s share of revenue from our oil and gas fields is set to be pitifully small, thanks to terms handed down by Ray Burke. It’s no longer just campaigners who want change. In May an Oireachtas committee with a majority of Government TDs issued a report calling for the terms to be radically overhauled.

The oil companies are desperate to maintain the status quo. They defend their corner mainly by portraying our offshore as a lonely wasteland, where exploration is almost non-existent and where finding oil or gas is but a remote possibility. Our “attractive” terms (the world’s most generous to the oil companies) must be maintained until Ireland is a “proven territory”, they insist.

Research to be published today tells a very different story.  Continue reading

Posted in Ireland's management of its oil and gas, Security of supply, State 'take' | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ireland totally unsuited to fracking – Greg Palast

By William Hederman 

Greg Palast in Dublin. Photo: William Hederman

Ireland is totally unsuited to the process of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to extract natural gas, according to the best-selling author of a book on the global oil and gas industry. Greg Palast, a renowned investigative journalist, said there was “no chance whatsoever” that US regulators would allow the controversial process in the kind of terrain for which it is proposed in Ireland.  Continue reading

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Why journalists are afraid of covering the Corrib Gas project

By William Hederman

This is a paper I presented at the People’s Forum in Inver in north Mayo on July 7th, 2012

On her radio programme a few weeks ago, (Saturday, April 14th, 2012), Marian Finucane interviewed the parents of Michael Dwyer, the Irishman shot dead by security forces in Bolivia in 2009. Michael had been brought to Bolivia by men he had met while working with them on the Corrib Gas project, men with links to fascist organisations in Eastern Europe. They were employees of IRMS, the security firm contracted by Shell to police the project. Continue reading

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Article on The Journal.ie about Barryroe discovery and Ireland’s oil and gas

The Journal.ie LogoFollowing the announcement in March 2012 by Providence Resources of a commercially viable oil discovery at the Barryroe field off Co Cork, The Journal.ie (an Irish online newspaper) ran this well-researched article (published 25th March 2012) about the significance of the discovery in the context of the Irish State’s management of its oil and gas resources. I was interviewed for the article.
How much is the Barryroe oil find actually worth to us?

A striking aspect of this article is that the vast majority of comments under the article are supportive of the view that Ireland’s licensing terms are too generous to oil companies. This is indicative of how the critique of the State’s management of its oil and gas has gained wider acceptance. A year or more ago, similar articles tended to attract comments that were misinformed and largely hostile to campaigners’ argument.

Posted in Ireland's management of its oil and gas, Media coverage, Security of supply, State 'take' | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Newstalk item about Providence discovery at Barryroe

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.)

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Corrib: Shatter’s ‘protest tourists’ are acting in Ireland’s interest

[Article published on Politico.ie on 21 February 2012]

As 19 campaigners go on trial in Mayo, William Hederman writes that the expensive policing of the Corrib gas project is facilitating a transfer of resources to private corporations. Those “outsiders” who protest in Mayo are doing Ireland a great service Continue reading

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Last night’s Frontline and the tax take from Corrib

By William Hederman. On RTÉ’s Frontline last night, I raised the question of the very low projected tax take from the Corrib Gas project. This issue is sometimes misunderstood. An example comes in this comment sent to me today by one of the other contributors to the programme, Tony Allwright. You can read my response below. (Incidentally, there were numerous pro-industry myths aired on the programme, which I hope to address in a further post very soon.)

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Posted in Corrib Gas project, Gas prices, Myths about Corrib Gas project, State 'take' | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments