Cllr. Ted Tynan of The Workers' Party has called on the Minister for Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte to take the Barryroe oil and gas field back into public ownership.
This follows the recent announcement by Providence Resources, a company controlled by the O'Reilly family, that the latest results from the well show that it is likely to contain 1.6 billion barrels of oil, which is four times the original estimate.
Cllr. Tynan said that under article 10 of the Irish Constitution all natural resources, in or under the state's jurisdiction, belonged to the state. " These resources do not belong to the O'Reilly clan or any other well heeled, well connected group of individuals, they belong to the Irish people and it is we who should benefit from their exploration."
He said that under the present taxation arrangements with exploration companies the state will benefit little from the Barryroe find as the average tax take on any profits would only be 20% with no provision for royalties to be paid on the find.
"This compares very badly with countries such as Norway and Venezuela, both of whom take 80% of the wealth of their oil and gas fields,
and both also have successful state owned companies to explore for and develop their natural resources."
"This means that as things stand the state's take during the whole lifetime of the Barryroe well, based on current oil prices, and the company's cost of development figures of $500 million would be just €20bn. Whereas with state ownership of the well this could be at least €100 billion over thirty years."
"The Government owes it to the people of the Ireland, who are going through hell to pay off the debts of speculators like the O' Reilly’s, to ensure that this, once in a thousand year opportunity is not squandered and allowed further enrich the already super rich to the detriment of people." Said Cllr. Tynan.
Issued 26th July 2012