Skip to main content

News Release: Rabbitte's betrayal further exposed by Providence's 1.6 bn barrel oil find

The recent announcement that the Barryroe field off Cork could contain up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil, further exposes Pat Rabbittes' betrayal of Irish interests with his oil and gas policy.

In a direct contradiction of Minister Pat Rabbitte's previous statements, a recent cross-party Oireachtas committee found that the current oil and gas terms are much too generous to the oil companies and the tax rate on finds should be raised by up to another 55%.  Last year Pat Rabbitte disgracefully issued exploration licences for 250,000 sq km off the Irish coast, despite the pending Oireachtas committee report, and just as Providence was embarking on what it termed the "the largest co-ordinated multi-basin drilling carried out offshore Ireland"[1]

Due to the recent Barryroe find Providence will be able to write off 100% of their costs for their entire drilling campaign off against tax.

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated "It is becoming clearer by the day how much the oil companies are playing the Department of Energy for fools.  This field was first drilled in 1976 when it was reported as a failure, and now Providence are claiming that the field is 4 times bigger than it even reported 5 months ago.

Ms Harrington continued "Pat Rabbitte has previously stated that it would be too expensive for Ireland to engage in oil and gas exploration, but in effect we paying for it anyway, as Providence will write off their costs.  At a time when cuts to health and education services are savage,why are we continuing to giveaway these precious resources to oil companies for nothing".

Speaking to Forbes Magazine in 1983, Tony O’Reilly Snr, father of current Providence Resources CEO Tony O’Reilly Jnr, outlined how he acquired the exploration rights for the six blocks that his geologist wanted: “Since I own 35 per cent of the newspapers in Ireland I have close contact with the politicians. I got the [exploration] blocks he [his geologist] wanted.” [2]


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

[1] Providence to start 12-well programme off Irish coast in 2011 – Irish Independent
[2]A Knight in Oily Armour: Tony O’Reilly and Exxon Mobil - Indymedia

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.