Sinn Féin - On Your Side


12 July, 2005

Sinn Fein County Councillor Gerry Murray has called on the Minster for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey to suspend the current round of Applications for Frontier Exploration Licenses and to immediately carry out a review of the terms and conditions of all such licenses. The acreage on offer in the current round is in the Slyne, Erris and Donegal basins and will cover unlicensed blocks in an area of 25,000 sq km.. The Successful applicants will be offered Frontier Exploration Licenses, which have a duration of 15 years.

In a statement Councillor Murray said. “I find it quite remarkable that Minster Dempsey is proceeding with this round of licenses, the highly flawed 1992 licensing terms for offshore oil and gas exploration and development will apply to licenses granted under this Round.”

“The 1992 Gas exploration legislation is extremely flawed and represents an extremely bad deal for the Irish People. The deal gives no royalties to the Dublin government and an extraordinarily low rate of tax, all of which Shell will be able to write off.   Former Minster Ray Burke, against the advice of senior officials in his department, held a meeting on his own with the oil companies after which the terms and conditions previously attached to licenses were changed dramatically in favour of the companies"

“In would be reckless in the extreme if Minster Dempsey were to issue new licences without first carrying out a major review of the 1992 legislation. The time has come for this Government to start putting the interests of the Irish People before the corporate interests of the oil and gas companies.”ENDS






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