Corrib Gas bill heading for €3.4bn

The Corrib Gas partners are now counting the

The company driving the project, Shell E&P

Ireland Ltd (SEPIL), confirmed yesterday that

the Corrib Gas Partners last year spent a

further €250m on the project.

The 2012 outlay brought the total spend to

€2.68bn at the end of Dec 2012.

Work continues on the subterranean 5km tunnel

to bring the gas ashore and a Shell spokesman

confirmed that a further €380m will be spent

on the project this year, with a projected

€300m to be spent in 2014.

The firm expects the tunnel to be completed

by the middle of next year with gas to flow

by 2015.

The spiralling costs make the project the

largest commercial investment by private

investors in one single scheme in the history

of the State.

Gas was originally expected to flow from the

field in 2003 resulting in the project likely

to now be 12 years behind the schedule, and

the outlay more than four times the initial

estimate of €800m.

The Corrib gas partners had hoped that gas

would be brought ashore in 2011 — but this

was before An Bord Pleanála ruled that half

of a proposed overground pipeline would be

unsafe, necessitating the construction of the

tunnel.

The project is now counting the cost of that

decision with the projected spend on the

entire scheme in 2013 and 2014 totalling

€680m.

SEPIL are not in a position to provide the

cost of the tunnel, however, a spokesman said

‘a sizeable proportion’ of the spend in

2013/14 is on the tunnel.

Accounts recently filed with the Companies

Office by SEPIL show the firm recorded a

pre-tax loss of €23.7m last year.

A tax credit of €6.4m helped reduce the loss

to €17.2m.

Remuneration for the firm’s three directors

last year topped €1.4m with staff costs

dipping from €18.89m to €18.3m.

SEPIL’s shareholder funds last year topped

€1.254bn after the firm received a further

cash injection of €175m.

Shell has a 45% share in the field with its

two partners, Statoil having a 36.5% share

and Canadian-owned Vermilion owning the

remaining 18.5% share.

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