Statement by Alan Linn, Chairperson, IOOA, UK/France Energy Threat
Thursday, 6th May 2021
Commenting on the post Brexit row in Jersey and France which has resulted in threats to electricity supply from France Mr Alan Linn, Chair of the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association, called on Irish policy makers to urgently examine Irelands National Energy Security at an Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action. He also called on the Government 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.
EU gas and oil production is rapidly declining, the long-term consequences cannot be overlooked. As supplies deplete in Ireland, we will be increasingly dependent on the UK for our energy security. 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.
Mr Linn said “Ireland will not remain immune to these type of threats in the future as geo-political warfare on energy will become part of new tactics on energy supply. 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, yesterday’s developments in the UK demonstrate that the proposal in Ireland to introduce a ban on future gas and oil licences is irresponsible in the absence of a comprehensive national Energy Security Review or Pre-Legislative scrutiny. Decisions of this magnitude simply cannot take place in an information vacuum; it suggests a wilful blindness that some might deem irresponsible.
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”.