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Rabbitte speaking from both sides of his mouth on oil and gas potential – Colreavy

12 June, 2013 - by Michael Colreavy TD

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has said that Minister Pat Rabbitte is speaking from both sides of his mouth in relation to Ireland’s offshore oil and gas potential.

Speaking on the issue Deputy Colreavy said:

“Yesterday, in the Dáil chamber, Minister Rabbitte informed me that comparing Ireland’s offshore oil and gas potential to that of Norway was ‘comparing apples and oranges’. He went on to inform me that ‘there is no comparison between this country and Norway’. Minister Rabbitte maintains that the possibility of finding a major amount of oil and gas off the coast is small. He has continuously played down the potential for development of oil and gas extraction offshore and the possibility of the state reaping significant rewards.

“However, this morning speaking before an assembly of private companies at an event organised by Enterprise Ireland and Achilles Group Ltd, the Minister painted a very different picture.

“Telling those assembled, the Minister pointed out that he looked positively on ‘recent development such as the Regional Seismic Survey and activity at Dunquin.’ He also said that these developments ‘augur well in terms of opportunities for Ireland and business opportunities for Irish suppliers, and for jobs and related spin-off benefits.

“The Minister went on to use Norway as an example of country that has successfully utilised its offshore oil and gas resources saying that ‘long-term economic gains associated with the finds can be enormous’.

“The Minister cannot tell members of the Oireachtas one story and tell private industry another. Many voices have highlighted the potential that lies off the coast of Ireland in oil and gas reserves. We need a fiscal regime that is able to create maximum benefit for the Irish people.”

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