Ireland's offshore oil and gas resources could be worth up to €750m, according to new report published today by SIPTU.
The reported, entitled 'Optimising Ireland's Oil and Gas Resources', was compiled by the union's research arm.
SIPTU is calling on the Government to implement a moratorium on the granting of oil and gas licenses until an Oireachtas review of the area has been completed.
SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor said the resources in question are too valuable to give away to private companies, without protecting the country's interests.
"There should be a public debate about the best way of dealing with our potential offshore resources," Mr O'Connor said.
Mr O'Connor said that the Government's own assessments estimated offshore oil resources of 10bn barrels of oil equivalent, enough for "upwards of 100 years".
The moratorium call was welcomed by Deputy Martin Ferris, Sinn Féin spokesperson on natural resources.
“I very much welcome this report," Deputy Ferris said.
"Sinn Féin has been calling for all licenses to be suspended pending such a review and I would hope that the Government responds positively.
“This report confirms that more and more people are coming to the view that the current generous terms being offered to the multi nationals, and the lack of state input combined with the low tax rate, are unsustainable in light of the current financial crisis and the IMF/EU imposed bailout," he added.
"We have a potentially massive resource that could provide the answers to many of our problems if properly managed.”