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Rabbitte’s rush to give away offshore rights could cost us billions

Colm Rapple - Irish Mail on Sunday

It’s official. The terms at which we give away rights to potential offshore oil and gas reserves are far too generous. That was the unanimous conclusion of an Oireachtas committee that included 12 TDs and senators from Government parties and nine from the opposition. They want far tougher terms applied to all new licences. By implication, they fault minister Pat Rabbitte for rushing to issue offshore option rights last year covering the most favourable areas off the west coast.

Impatient: Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte was in a hurry
Impatient: Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte was in a hurry

The recipient oil companies can convert those options into exploration and production licences that will be subject to the current licensing terms – terms deemed wholly inadequate by the Oireachtas Committee, confirming the long-held view of many commentators.

Posted Date: 
27 May 2012

Council tries to silence protest by threatening Rossport Solidarity Camp with eviction

Costas - 1 of Anarkismo Editorial Group

In a new twist to the decade long struggle against Shell Rossport Solidarity Camp has revealed that Mayo County Council (MCC) has issued an eviction notice to the landowner of the field where the Rossport Solidarity Camp is located. Mayo farmer Gerry Burke has been threatened with fines of over €12,000 and two years in prison. Despite these theats the annual June Bank Holiday solidarity gathering will go ahead in a couple of weeks.


The camp is taken down each Autumn and re-erected each year in the early summer, this year that was three weeks ago. The Rossport Solidarity Camp is an environmental camp which leaves aslight an ecological footprint as possible, creating their own electricity with wind turbines and solar panels, composting and using grey-water systems to filter and clean up waste water from washing up etc. People come to the camp to see these systems in operation and attend workshops on how to construct similar systems elsewhere.

Posted Date: 
22 May 2012

Police amassing at James Price Point - after yesterday's 600 people power peaceful protest at Broome Police Station

Gerry Georgatos - Indymedia Australia

[Shell to Sea] In a story with striking similarities to Corrib, police have just been drafted in to a rural area of Australia to attempt to force through a gas refinery

Today, Monday May 14, after yesterday's peaceful protest by 600 folk outside Broome Police Station, police are amassing in large numbers at Blacktank camp access route - to ensure Woodside Petroleum geophysical site work for the proposed gas hub precinct at James Price Point. Police are reportedly expected at Manari Road access (near Walmandan Tent Embassy), and Cape Leveque after between 140 to 250 police officers with riot gear arrived in Broome in the last several days.

Just in: 150 police officers amassed to escort Woodside workers and equipment to onsite works - Martin Pritchard said, "The WA Police public order response group were flown into Broome over the weekend under orders from the Premier, such is the massive opposition to the project." - read the Environs Kimberley media release at the end of this article.

Posted Date: 
16 May 2012

State 'should double' tax take on gas and oil finds

Lorna Siggins, The Irish Times

[Shell to Sea] The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture report on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration can be found here

A JOINT Oireachtas committee has recommended that the State double its resource tax take for large oil and gas finds off the Irish coast, and initiate a “transparent” system of public consultation in exploiting new finds.

An all-party report, which is due to be published today by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture, says that there should be a review of offshore fiscal and licensing terms before each licensing round.

The report, which has been seen by The Irish Times, advises against “retrospective changes” to terms of existing agreements – such as those for the Corrib gas field and recent Providence Resources finds – as this could “risk long-term reputational damage”.

However, it points out that only 9.3 per cent of the geologically significant portion within the designated Continental Shelf is currently licensed for exploration or leased for production.

Any “large increase” in the number of commercially viable finds or the size of fields could therefore yield greater benefit to the State, if new tax terms are introduced by the Government, it argues.

Posted Date: 
9 May 2012

Shell admits funding Niger Delta "warlords"

BenAmunwa of Platform writing an article for Greenpeace

A guest blog from Ben Amunwa, campaigner with oil industry watchdog Platform. 

A recent video published online shows a Shell executive admitting that the oil giant could easily be funding what he describes as “warlords” and militants in Nigeria. You can watch the video here, (see 57mins - 1hr). The admission comes soon after the announcement that 11,000 Nigerians are due to take Shell to court in London over two major oil spills in the town of Bodo in 2008 to 2009. Shell has refused to pay adequate compensation for the destruction caused to the environment and livelihoods of local residents.

Posted Date: 
2 May 2012
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