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More Natural Resources Discovered, More Given Away

16/06/09

Yet another discovery of hydrocarbon natural resources has been made off the west coast of Ireland.

Last Tuesday [June 9], Serica Energy, a British-owned company, announced the discovery of oil off the Mayo coastline.

The find, located approximately 40km south of the Corrib gas field, is the latest in a series of such discoveries off the west coast. In recent years, both foreign and indigenous corporations have been granted drilling licences to explore Ireland’s coastlines for natural resources, with many of them proving successful. There is estimated to be hundreds of billions of euro worth of oil and gas in Irish territorial waters.

Serica hold the exploration license for the Slyne basin

However, due to the slavish actions of the Twenty-Six County government, the people of Ireland will fail to benefit from these natural resources in any substantial way. Under the current deal, the Irish people receive no royalties and no percentage share from any oil and gas harvested. So poor is the current deal that even a reduction in the retail price of any oil and gas discovered or guarantees on employment opportunities do not exist.

The most recent discovery will prove no different. The profits from whatever oil is extracted from the find will merely swell the coffers of Serica Energy, while the Irish people will be forced to buy back the oil at full cost price.

In a statement typical of the fawning attitude that the Dublin government has adopted towards the multinational energy companies, minister of state Conor Lenihan managed to mention that he hoped the find would “lead to further commercial activity within the licensed area involved”.

éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said: “The discovery of yet another potential source of energy off the Irish coastline should come as good news. The financial potential that this find, and others like it hold, is massive, with potential profits in the tens of billions. Sadly, however, these profits will not benefit the Irish people. Instead, they will simply add to the bank balances of the multinationals.

“The response of the Twenty-Six County government to this discovery has been pathetic. The best response that Conor Lenihan can summon is a statement which amounts to cheerleading for the further private exploitation of Irish natural resources.

“Ireland’s natural resources don’t belong to Serica, Shell, Providence Resources or any other private company, foreign or indigenous – they belong to the people of Ireland. This fact has been conveniently forgotten by the politicians whose goal in life seems to be to curry favour with the business class.

“éirígí repeats its call for the establishment of a state-owned national exploration company, whose task it would be to discover and harvest the natural resources of Ireland for the benefit of the people of Ireland.”

 

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