Minister needs to accept committee recommendations on oil exploration – Ó Domhnaill

Overhaul of licensing system for oil exploration needed



Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Senator Brian Ó Domhanill, has called on the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to fully implement all of the recommendations contained in the Joint Committee on Energy’s report in relation to the oil industry.

 

Senator Ó Domhnaill said; “ The Minister for Energy should fully implement all of the recommendations in the report which was prepared by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Natural Resources and Agriculture.”

“Over a year has gone by since the publication of this report and despite the very strong recommendations, it is gathering dust in the Minister’s Department. The exploitation of our natural resources has been a matter of much debate over the years and the report by the Joint Committee which has the backing of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Féin and the Independents, was a comprehensive review of the industry and made strong recommendations in relation to how this industry could be exploited for the benefit of the people of Ireland. “

“The report prepared by the Committee, which had the benefit of advice from the Norwegian authorities, is based on a realistic appraisal of the current state of the oil industry and makes recommendations accordingly. It points out how our present oil regime could be dramatically developed, while at the other side debunking some of the more facile claims by people in relation to this industry.”
Among the major proposals in the report is the need for a new basic law in which policy principals are enshrined to underpin a totally new approach to oil and gas explorations. It also recommends a clear and transparent fiscal and licencing regime which would provide certainly for the State and industry alike, but recommends that retrospective changes to fiscal and licencing terms should be avoided as it can lead to long tern reputational damage.”

“In relation to taxation rates, I fully support a recommendation that in the case of future licences, the overall tax take should be increased to a minimum of 40% and for very large discoveries this tax would increase on a scale up to 80%.”

 

“The report also makes strong recommendations in relation to obtaining geological data from licensees.”

 

“One of the difficulties that had bedevilled exploration in Ireland is the whole issue of public consultation and the report makes very comprehensive recommendations in this regard.  My belief that if the recommendations of this report had been in place over the last ten years, the difficulty that arose in regard to Corrib Gas would not have happened.”

“The report also stresses the importance of local community gain where oil or gas exploration is taking place or where you have host communities through which the oil and gas flows. Not only must we look at the national cost benefit, but we also must look at the local cost benefit and ensure that host communities are fully involved in the process.”

 

“I am shocked that since the production of the report, there has been no response from the Minister for Energy and that despite all of the verbalising by him in opposition, he has not taken action to implement this very comprehensive report in a fair minded way. We now have a unique opportunity to develop a good oil industry in this country and I call on the Minister to avail of this opportunity.”

 

Posted: May 15, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized