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News Release - Inappropriate energy advisors selected on oil and gas terms

News Release - Issued by Mayo Shell to Sea - March 11th, 2014

-- Department select consultants with close oil company links to advise on Irelands Oil and Gas terms --
Shell to Sea today criticised the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for selecting Wood Mackenzie as their advisers on the “fitness-for-purpose” of Ireland’s current oil and gas fiscal terms. Shell to Sea also criticized the tendering process and the pro-oil industry press statements that have come from the Department in regard to this selection of advisers. [1]
This review was forced on the Department after the Joint Oireachtas Committee report on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration in May 2012, which recommended, among other things, a review of offshore fiscal and licensing terms before each licensing round. [2]

Wood Mackenzie have extremely close connections to the oil and gas industry and have been writing reports for the oil companies on Corrib since 1998. [3] They were further commissioned by Shell in 2003 to write a report on the Corrib Gas Project. While this report was confidential some of the taxation figures they quoted have since made their way into the public domain [4]. As well as Wood Mackenzie's direct links with oil companies, Wood Mackenzie's parent company Hellman & Friedman also jointly own a major LNG engineering company with oil multinational Total.[5]
Shell to Sea also put in a free of charge tender for this consultancy process, in which they spoke about the current “Stockholm syndrome ... at the department of Energy”. Shell to Sea ended the summary section of their tender quoting ex Labour party Minister for Energy, Justin Keating who shortly before his death said “If we waste this resource, it will be a crime against Irish people. We're in danger of doing it”. [6]
Terence Conway stated "The results of the so-called review are a foregone conclusion, as the Department has consistently made it clear, they want the oil companies to get the vast majority of the profits, from whatever oil and gas is found."
Maura Harrington added "It would be more appropriate for Pat Rabbitte to consult with the Irish people about the fiscal oil and gas terms because our natural resources belong to us and, following the squandering of our fishing wealth it is verging on, if not actually treasonable for FG and Labour to follow the same tired path as FF in giving away our family silver for a handful of colourdy beans.


For more information contact:        
Maura Harrington:  
Terence Conway:!/ShellToSea


[1] International experts Wood Mackenzie selected to advise on oil and gas exploration tax terms - Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

[2] Natural Resources Committee calls for new fiscal licencing regime in Offshore Oil and Gas exploration

[3] Ireland's Corrib gas find deemed 'commercial' - Oil & Gas Journal - Oct 1998

[4] Ireland’s share of revenue from its gas fields could be as low as 7%, report shows - William Hederman -’s-tax-‘take’-from-gas-fields-could-be-as-low-as-7-per-cen/

[5] Gaztransport & Technigaz -

[6] Shell to Sea tender for Oil & Gas Review Contract - Shell to Sea News Release

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.