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Ferris - Department reveals real selling point of Ireland's gas reserves

9 November, 2006

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD has claimed that a remark made yesterday at conference to attract multi national investors in Irish gas exploration exposed the real basis on which our gas reserves are being auctioned. Assistant Secretary at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Martin Brennan told the audience that "There are now three (gas) inter-connectors between Ireland and the UK, so if you do hit a gush, there's plenty of market out there!"

Deputy Ferris said, "Mr. Brennan's remark to private investors completely contradicts the Government's claim that allowing multi-nationals to develop offshore gas under the current terms and conditions will guarantee security of supply. In fact, as his remark clearly illustrates, the main attraction, apart from the fact that the companies are given the most favourable revenue terms of any country in the world, is that they will be allowed do as they please with any gas they discover.

"This has been pointed out again and again by those objecting to the current proposal to develop the Corrib field. The fact is that the Shell consortium is under no obligation to supply any of the gas to Bord Gáis and that if it does so, Bord Gáis will have to pay them the prevailing international rate. So the reality is that Ireland stands to gain nothing at all from the exploitation of the gas that lies off our shore." ENDS

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