Corrib gas operator sizing up increased Irish acreage

Shell E&P Ireland, operator of the controversial Corrib gas field off the Mayo coast, is considering adding to its Irish asset portfolio in the Government’s upcoming licensing round.

Corrib gas operator sizing up increased Irish acreage

Talking on the sidelines of yesterday’s Energy Ireland annual conference in Dublin, Ronan Deasy, Shell E&P Ireland’s managing director, confirmed the company has been evaluating options ahead of the September closing date for applications for the 2015 Atlantic Margin Oil and Gas Licensing Round.

During his address, Mr Deasy reiterated that Shell is aiming to produce first gas from Corrib by late summer, if not sooner.

He added that the project — which should substantially improve Ireland’s energy security of supply concerns by providing 60% of the country’s annual gas needs and substituting the necessity to import gas from Britain — should encourage other big-name players to look at Ireland, via participation in the upcoming licensing round.

First commercial flow at Corrib is set to be 12 years overdue, with the project’s total cost of around €3.6bn set to be nearly four times its original estimate, of €800m. However, Shell says the project will provide €6bn to Ireland’s GDP and sustain 175 high-quality long-term jobs for the next 15 to -20 years. It has already employed more than 6,000 people.

Earlier, Eamonn Confrey, principal officer in the Department of Energy and Natural Resources, referred to the Government’s ‘white paper’ on Ireland’s energy policy up to 2030, which is due for publication later this year. He said that the country still has one of the highest reliance rates for fuel imports in Europe and that the €6.7bn it pays per year, in this regard, is “unsustainable”.

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