Corrib Gas sees no tax bill as sales rise 25%

By Gordon Deegan

The owners of the Corrib Gas field have posted a 25% jump in revenues to €362m as global gas prices rose in the first half of the year, despite facing a temporary slowdown in production.

That is according to new figures from Canadian firm Vermilion which says that production from the field fell 7% in the three months to the end of June from the previous quarter.

The company also said that given the significant level of investment in Corrib that Vermilion doesn’t expect to pay income taxes out of Ireland for the foreseeable future.

A second-quarter production slowdown was due to natural declines and a minor downtime related to an external electricity supply disruption, according to the accounts.

Nonetheless, sales were still up 25% to €362m over the first six months from a year earlier, after global energy prices climbed.

Shell Ireland announced the disposal of its shareholding over a year ago to the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, in a deal involving Vermilion which is potentially worth €1.08bn.

That deal is expected to be completed sometime later this year, according to the Vermilion quarterly report.

The estimate for production and revenues at the field is based on Vermilion’s 18.5% share of the field.

At the end of December, Vermilion had considerable tax loss credits which can be carried forward against taxable income.

The Corrib Partners invested more than €3.6bn in the project — more than four times an original estimate of €800m — before gas started to flow some 12 years behind schedule.

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