Companies exploring for oil and gas off the Irish coast say policies and regulations are needed to encourage a repeat the success of the Kinsale and the Corrib fields and prevent the Irish economy becoming reliant on energy imports via Britain.
The Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) said the decommissioning of the Kinsale Head gas fields as it reaches the end of its life underlines the need for the new Government to provide leadership on energy, with policies which meet international commitments on climate action while also ensuring Ireland has the power for a vibrant economy.
Head of the IOOA Mandy Johnston said: “Since the 1970s the Kinsale Head fields have powered Irish economic success. When they came on stream they transformed the energy landscape, cutting our dependence on higher emissions fuels as well as unreliable and costly imports.”
“Today we again face an energy challenge. The important and crucial role of gas during the future decades of transition to renewable energy has been recognised by Government. However with Kinsale now ending and the Corrib field past its peak we are in danger of becoming completely reliant on imported gas to provide energy during the transition.
The IOOA said imported gas means Ireland would be vulnerable to global events.
“Gas will be imported via post-Brexit Britain, often from as far away as Qatar and Russia. The transport of gas over such great distances not only jeopardises jobs at home, it also results in up to 30% higher greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Johnston said.
“What is needed now is a Government with policies which include clear regulations and guidelines so energy companies can repeat the success of Kinsale and Corrib, a commitment to encourage and develop new technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and the development of intensive energy conservation measures,” she said.