The Energy White Paper and Corrib

March 13, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

The Energy White Paper makes a few interesting references to Corrib. 

Security of Supply

In section 3.3.3 there is a clear acknowledgement that there is no security of supply issue facing the country. This removes one of the key justifications being cited to progress the Corrib gas project in its present form.

Fiscal Terms

The White Paper clearly exposes government confusion on this point. In section 3.6.1 it speaks of reviewing these terms if prospectivity improves. But in section 3.6.2 it openly acknowledges that significant potential fossil fuel resources exist in the Irish off-shore. So why not change these terms now? In any event the financial return on any such find is so enormous given the rise in fossil fuel values that the present regime is clearly inadequate. The government fails to realise the investment capacity for the transition to renewable energy that a proper fiscal regime would deliver.

Safety and Regulation

The White Paper acknowledges and concedes two key issues in the local campaign to change the Corrib gas project. In section 3.6.5 the task of regulating and supervising production pipelines is granted to the CER and thereby removed from the Dept of Marine. Local people always argued that the Dept could not both encourage the oil and gas industry and supervise it at the same time. Secondly, in section 3.6.5 it is also announced that a National Risk Framework will now be put in place for oil and gas projects among others. Again, this acknowledges that Corrib was developed without such a Framework to properly determine risk and risk assessment, which has been another argument advanced by local people in North Mayo.


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