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Ferris: Shell's profits underline need to send Shell to Sea

27 July, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris TD has said that the announcement of Shell of quarterly profits of €6.3 billion is further proof that the company can easily afford to process the Corrib gas field at sea. The Kerry North Deputy went on to point out that spiralling energy costs undermined the argument that massive tax breaks were necessary to attract companies to drill off the coast of Ireland.


The Kerry North TD said: "Shell has repeatedly argued that they cannot process the Corrib gas at sea because it would cause a slight reduction in the massive profits they will be making out of the exploitation of Irish natural resources. The utter ridiculousness of such an argument is exposed by their announcement of net profits of €6.3 billion for the last three months to June. Instead of being satisfied with that they are determined to squeeze every last cent out of the Corrib field, even if it means using a dangerous, experimental pipeline to do so.


"The latest figures from Shell also point out that there has been a 35% average increase in the price of oil during the same three month period. The argument advanced by Fianna Fáil that sweetheart tax breaks are necessary to attract foreign investment to Irelandis again exposed as a flimsy and weak attempt to defend the indefensible. It was Ray Burke who abandoned the Irish people's 50% stake in any oil or gas found in Irish waters but it is the people who will pay for it.


"The proposed exploitation of the Corrib field will not mean a jobs boom for Mayo, it will not mean extra revenue for the exchequer and it will not, as the head of Bord Gáis energy supply David Bunworth admitted this week, make any difference in the gas bill for Irish households.


"It is not enough that we send Shell to Sea, but we must also reassert Irish ownership of Irish natural resources." ENDS

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