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Corrib will raise the price of gas

Press release - Issued by Shell to Sea - 12/07/2011

Energy price rise "very likely" due to Corrib - Energy Regulator

Shell to Sea has re-iterated its call to renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway as the Commission for Energy Regulation admits that energy price rises would be ‘very likely’ if the Corrib field comes ashore.

The CER warned in a paper published on Sunday that a new source such as Corrib would reduce interconnector bookings for imported gas. Falling interconnector bookings would in turn significantly affect the interconnector subsidy paid to Bord Gáis, as ‘‘the lower the bookings go, the higher the tariff goes in return’’. The paper also said that ‘‘any increase [in the tariff] would allow producers to price up’’ their gas to consumers, allowing gas companies to ‘‘gain further margins, thus putting an even bigger burden on the final customers’’.

As Corrib gas will be sold at international market rates, the higher prices that will be paid for imported gas would set the price of Corrib gas. The ESB’s outgoing chief executive, Padraig McManus, speaking on Today with Pat Kenny on RTE Radio One on 24th March 2011, said: “But, it’s an international commodity you know, Corrib, we are not going to get Corrib Gas cheaper than gas from anywhere else, you know gas is an international commodity so we'll pay the same price as getting it it from the UK"

Notably the facts coming from the CER are at odds with recent comments from the government. Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, Minister for Energy Communications and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said: “Gas prices have rocketed again in recent months and that has serious implications... It’s an argument as well for us getting the Corrib field onshore.”

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington said "The CER have verified what Shell to Sea has been saying all along - under the current terms and conditions the Corrib Gas project is of no benefit to the Irish public. At a time when hospitals are being closed due to lack of funds, the government still seems content to give away €580 billion worth of oil and gas resources." She continued "protests are on-going against this economic robbery of the nation and against the endangerment of the health, safety and environment of the local community in North Mayo".


Shell to Sea campaign website:

Maura Harrington            087 9591474   
Terence Conway             086 0866264      


The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:

1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks.

2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted.

3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery. 

*This figure is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of recoverable oil and gas in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent). Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $79, this works out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south & east coasts or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.