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Government asks experts for advice on Ireland's underexplored oil and gas

Minister Pat Rabbitte says he wants to strike a balance between attracting investment and maximising returns from the State’s natural resources.

Image: Oil transfer platforms via Shutterstock

THE GOVERNMENT IS seeking advice from experts on how best to capitalise on Ireland’s natural resources.

The Department for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has sought tenders for the provision of expert advice on how best to maximise the benefits of Ireland’s offshore oil and gas resources.

The terms of reference for potential applicants note that Ireland’s indigenous oil and gas resources belong to the people of the country.

“Ireland’s offshore whilst holding great promise is relatively underexplored with only four commercial gas finds to date,” Minister Rabbitte said. “In setting our fiscal terms we need to strike the necessary balance between attracting the high-risk exploration investment needed to prove that promise whilst maximising the return to the State and its citizens from our natural resources.”

Experts hired following a procurement procedure will be asked to focus on what monetary gain can be achieved – and how that could be done.

The government says it wants to be competitive in order to attract investment in exploration.

“The Government’s strategy for the exploitation of the State’s natural oil and gas resources aims to maximise the level of exploration activity and increase the level of production activity, while ensuring a fair return to the people from these activities,” added junior minister Fergus O’Dowd.

Ireland competes for mobile exploration investment in the same way it competes for other forms of foreign direct investment.

Tenderers will be asked to examine the petroleum prospectivity of the Irish offshore and Ireland’s “relative attractiveness as a location for mobile international exploration investment”.

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Related: Just four commercial gas discoveries since the 70s but minister remains positive

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