Tuesday, 23rd March 2021

Energy Industry Object to Government Ban on future Gas and Oil Licences in the absence of Energy Security Review.

…” Pre-Legislative scrutiny of the implications of this proposal should be undertaken by the Houses of the Oireachtas to avoid charges of wilful blindness” …..

Commenting on the publication of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020 today, Mr Alan Linn, Chair of the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association, called on Irish policy makers to reject the Amendment to ban future gas and oil licences in Ireland until the promised National Energy Security Review has been completed.  Mr Linn also called on the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny on the issue to fully examine the effects of this ban on Ireland’s energy security landscape in the decades ahead.

Mr Linn said “As an industry, our member companies are committed to the transition to a lower carbon society. In principle and in practice we demonstrate our support for the decarbonisation of society every day through investment in research and development and by improving our exploration and production facilities and systems.  However, whilst supporting the overarching objectives of the Climate Action initiatives we also believe the proposal to introduce a ban on future gas and oil licences is irresponsible in the absence of a comprehensive national Energy Security Review which has still not taken place.  As the ban is being proposed via an Amendment to the original Bill, no proper Pre-Legislative scrutiny of the implications of this proposal has been undertaken by the Houses of the Oireachtas.  Decisions of this magnitude simply cannot take place in an information vacuum; it suggests a wilful blindness that some might deem irresponsible.

As this Amendment has the potential to cause more, rather than less, environmental damage and will force Ireland to rely on importing all its gas and oil needs from other countries at a time when EU gas and oil production is rapidly declining, the long-term consequences cannot be overlooked. Denmark, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, and France are all experiencing energy security issues as a result of similar bans.  Ireland will continue to import 100% oil; and imports of natural gas will increase in the next decade from approximately two thirds to almost 100% of our requirements.

Only last year the outgoing Government refused a similar proposal to ban future gas and oil exploration license on the grounds that it would not reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions and it would make us more reliant upon imports. Gas produced from Corrib has a 2021 emission intensity of approximately 4.5kgCO2e/boe, while imported gas from the UK can range between 22kg to 59kgCO2e/boe, depending on whether the gas was produced in the UK or imported into the UK via LNG. We would like to know what information the State has received to change its previous position and we call on the Government to publish any research on Energy Security that has informed recent decision making.


Note to Editors.

About IOOA

Founded in 1995, the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) is the representative organisation for the Irish offshore oil and gas industry. Its members are companies licensed by the Government to explore for and produce oil and gas in Irish waters. The Association also provides a focal point for liaison between companies participating in Ireland’s oil and gas industry and other stakeholders and organisations, such as the fishing industry, environmental bodies, regulatory authorities, and Government.

IOOA’s role is to bring together and draw upon our members’ different expertise and experience, so that we can make a constructive contribution to national dialogue and play a valuable role in the development of Ireland’s economy and the Irish offshore industry.




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